GLENDALE, Ariz. — With one hand, a 4-year-old girl was holding on to her grandmother and her baby doll with the other. Just moments later, she was run over and killed at a Walmart parking lot.
Nariah was with her 3-year-old brother Robert, her mother, aunt, and grandmother when a black truck hit a parked car, jumped on the sidewalk and hit four of them.
The child’s grandmother Lotonya McFowler said the family had just gotten out of their car and were on the sidewalk near the main entrance of the Walmart near 56th and Northern avenues when their lives changed forever.
“She dragged my granddaughter under her truck,” McFowler said. “My grandson and my daughter [were also hurt], she was laying under her truck.”
Glendale Police say the 68-year-old driver was backing out of parking space, when it made a sudden stop, then for reasons still under investigation went forward into the parking space again.
When the driver did this, investigators say she struck a parked car, hopped onto the sidewalk, and struck the family.
Nariah was pinned under the vehicle, police say.
The family said she died at the hospital from a brain injury.
“It doesn’t make any sense,” McFowler said an hour after getting the news that Nariah had passed away, as she wore a green jacket with bloodstains on her right shoulder.
“This is my granddaughters’ blood,” McFowler added. “I was holding [her], she was unconscious, but I could see she had her eyes up and was looking at me.”
Police say before medics arrived on scene, witnesses were already performing CPR on Nariah. Her little brother was rush to the hospital in critical condition, but his family says he’s now doing well following surgery on his arm.
The children’s mother was also taken to the hospital and was treated for a head injury.
Investigators say the driver remained on scene and cooperated, she was later taken in a police cruiser for questioning.
Police say at this time there is no evidence of impairment. The driver told authorities she had borrowed the truck.
“We’re not sure if whether she just wasn’t sure how to use that vehicle or what really played a factor in this accident,” said Jose Santiago from the Glendale Police Department.
The family says they want justice for little Nariah’s death.
“I will never get to see my granddaughter again,” the grandmother said. “I’d like for her to go to jail for murder because she killed my granddaughter and she could have killed my daughter and grandson.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe to help organize funeral expenses for little Nariah and held a vigil at the Walmart where the crash happened.