A father in Taylor, Texas arrived before medics just in time to hold his daughter moments before her death. Read on to see if you can help authorities identify the driver in this tragic hit and run.
Family says goodbye to teen killed in hit-and-run
UPDATE: The suspect who authorities say hit two girls and fled the scene has been arrested. The man, 21-year-old Missael Padilla Lopez, was arrested at his job site in Austin Wednesday.
A friend of Lopez’ told detectives on Aug. 11 that he was traveling in the vehicle with him at the time of the crash. The friend said there was another friend in the truck as well. Accounts say that with his left hand on the steering wheel, Lopez reached into his right pocket to answer his phone. The friend said that Lopez “jerked the wheel to the left” and hit Sharonda Barrett and her friend.
After hitting the pedestrians he did not slow down and continued.
For this fatal hit-and-run Lopez has been charged for an accident involving personal injury or death. The charge is a second-degree felony.
UPDATE: With the help of the Texas Rangers, Taylor police have taken custody of a vehicle they say was likely involved in the crash that killed Taylor teen, Sharonda Barrett.
After a warrant was issued with the assistance of the Texas Rangers, police seized the 1995 red GMC pickup from a house in the area.
It has not been released to the public whether an arrest has been made in the hit-and-run case.
UPDATE: Police in Taylor, TX are now looking for the driver of a red 1994 through 1998 Chevy or GMC 1500 truck. The vehicle will have “significant” damage to the driver’s side headlight and side view mirror.
Police made the update on the vehicle in question after parts of the vehicle left at the scene were analyzed by experts. They went on, saying “No tip is too small. If you’ve heard or seen anything that may help us, please give us a call.”
Sixteen-year-old Sharonda Barrett was walking with a friend on Old Thorndale Road Saturday evening. Both girls were struck by a vehicle that is believed to be a dark Ford F-150 pickup truck.
The crash occurred just before 9 p.m. Sharonda’s father, Jason Barrett, rushed to the scene as soon as he found out. Relatives of Sharonda’s friend notified him of the wreck.
Just a half mile away from his home Jason Barrett found his daughter in the grass by the side of the road. According to accounts, he said “I grabbed her and I was holding her.” He continued to say “I was trying to talk to her and I told her to breathe, and she let out a couple of breaths but she wasn’t moving at all.”
Jason Barrett said that medics arrived on the scene moments later where they tried to revive his daughter. Sharonda’s friend was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.Sharonda Barrett was on the dance team at Taylor High School. She would have started her junior year later this August. Her father said she was interested in going to school to become a nurse.
Her family says she enjoyed helping people and was very outgoing. They recalled the time they spent dancing and singing together as a family.
Sharonda Barrett leaves behind her mother, father, and four brothers.
Anyone with information is asked to call Taylor police at (512) 352-5551.
Pedestrians face hazardous road conditions
The stretch of road where Sharonda and her friend were walking has no sidewalks. The speed limit on the road is 30 miles per hour. Barrett says that his daughter would take a walk almost daily in the evening when the weather would cool down.
Pedestrians make up a disproportionate number of traffic fatalities in the Austin area.
Dangers of Being an Austin Pedestrian
Pedestrians can be severely injured even if a car is going at a slow rate of speed.
Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn are experienced personal injury attorneys in Austin. The legal team at McMinn Law Firm knows the traumatic pain that can be caused in a pedestrian-car crash. Often injuries are much more severe when a large vehicle strikes a person on foot.
Both Jason McMinn and Justin McMinn have taken on cases where a pedestrian was severely injured. As one example, a woman received a policy limits settlement when she was struck in a parking lot.To view more of the case verdicts and settlements achieved by McMinn Law Firm, visit the Verdicts and Settlements page on McMinnLaw.com.