Two children were killed and another four children were hospitalized with injuries when a car plowed into them and fled the scene in South Florida on Monday, authorities said.
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that it was investigating what happened outside an apartment building in Wilton Manors, Florida, along with the Wilton Manors Police and Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.
The sheriff’s office didn’t immediately provide ages for any of the children. Steven Gollan, a battalion chief with the Fort Lauderdale Fire Department, said at a news conference Monday night that the hospitalized children were “severely injured.”
“This event is a horrific event any time of the year, let alone right after the holidays,” Gollan said.
The Wilton Manor Police Department tweeted that a family reunification center was set up at the City Hall Emergency Operation Center. Wilton Manors is located just outside of Fort Lauderdale.
The car drove up on a sidewalk to get around a bus before hitting the children, said Shaunta Adams, who had just driven away from her apartment.
“By the time I looked up, I saw him going around the bus and I see him hit the damn kids,” Adams told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I jumped out my car, my car was still running, I ran up and saw the first girl on the ground. I knew she was dead. I go to the second kid and I see him dead.”
Wallene Johnson, who lives across the street, came outside when she heard screaming and saw two bodies in the parking lot and another child lying on the ground down the road.
“How can you sleep?” she told the Sun Sentinel. “And they’re babies. They won’t be going back to school.”