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Driver hits three children in 11 days

No charges will be filed against a driver who hit three children in 11 days, investigators said. One girl was killed.

In two collisions about a mile apart, the youngsters darted in front of the car driven by Nancy D. Cassidy, 33, of Fort Walton Beach. She was neither drunk nor speeding, authorities said.

In the first accident Feb. 21, Jan Gonzalez, 13, was killed and Jennifer Berryman, 13, was injured while trying to cross Eglin Parkway. Jennifer remained in stable condition Saturday at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center.

Fort Walton Beach police determined the driver was not at fault.

Meanwhile, Kara Suzanne Mitchell, 12, was in stable condition Saturday in the intensive care unit at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center after being struck Thursday.

Three witnesses said Kara stepped in front of Ms. Cassidy's car while attempting to cross Racetrack Road, said Florida Highway Patrol trooper Ronnie Miller.

"I can't find anything showing she's at fault," Miller said of the motorist. "She didn't cry. It may have been that she was in a state of shock. Her husband said she was pretty shaken up by the first one."

Ms. Cassidy briefly walked away to find somebody to watch her 1-year-old son and then returned and told Miller she had been involved in the earlier accident.

"I just don't believe my daughter stepped in front of this lady," said Kara's mother, Janice Mitchell. "I can't believe this lady left the scene for at least six minutes."

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