Local News

Teen driver charged after car hits 9-year-old in yard

Posted April 30, 2010 11:03 a.m. EDT
Updated April 30, 2010 12:22 p.m. EDT

— A 16-year-old driver faces assault charges after his car struck a 9-year-old girl standing in her front yard in Wilson in early March, police said Thursday.

Police said that a Mitsubishi Eclipse driven by Donald James Bridges struck Rita Hamidi at 3701 Lear Court on March 9. Rita was critically wounded and hospitalized in the Pitt Memorial Hospital Pediatric Intensive Care Unit in Greenville. She has been released.

Bridges, of 5517 Rock Quarry Road in Elm City, was charged Thursday with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Wilson police filed charges after consulting with the District Attorney's Office.

"This has been a very tragic and unfortunate event for everyone involved. We have striven to conduct as thorough and accurate investigation as members of our agency always do," Sgt. Luke Marcum said in a statement. "With the assistance of the District Attorney's Office, we feel that the interest of justice will be served as this case proceeds through the judicial system."

Investigators determined that speed was a factor in the collision. Police said that Bridges tried to make a wide right turn from Starship Lane onto Lear Court, but crossed the center line and ran off the road. His Eclipse struck Rita, a mailbox and utility box before coming to a stop.

Police said they do not believe the collision was intentional.