LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE


Officer Nicholas Hansel has an idea who was behind the wheel of a gold- or champagne-colored car when it struck a 3-year-old York City girl and fled the scene, leaving her critically injured.

But the hit-and-run driver likely won't face justice unless people who witnessed Saturday's accident come forward, the officer said.

"I know there are many witnesses to this accident, but nobody's talking to me. Nobody's giving me the information I need to ... complete my investigation," Hansel said. "It's frustrating."

The badly injured girl — whose name has not been released — was taken to York Hospital by ambulance, then flown to Hershey Medical Center by medical helicopter, where she remains, he said.

According to Hansel, the girl was playing in Penn Park on Saturday afternoon, waiting to go to a birthday party. She was being supervised by adults, he confirmed.

Thrown in air: About 1:35 p.m., she started crossing the 100 block of Lafayette Street in the middle of the block, in the area of Penn Park's tennis courts, he said.

A westbound gold- or champagne-colored Hyundai or Honda struck her.

"It appears that she was thrown into the air and came to rest under a parked vehicle," Hansel said. "She was unconscious at the scene."

The girl's prognosis is unknown at this time, he said.

"She sustained critical injuries and she's still being treated," Hansel said.

The car took off after hitting the girl, according to the officer, who said he found no evidence the driver braked before the accident. It's believed there were two men in the car, he said.

"When I got to the scene, there were probably 40 people standing on the sidewalk," Hansel said. "They all just kind of stood by and watched. ... They just gawked."

Few have talked: But only a few of them have spoken to police, he confirmed.

"A large number said they did not see anything," Hansel said. "I think there's a much higher percentage of people who saw the accident than are admitting it."

The officer said he thinks he knows who was driving the car, but that knowledge alone won't help him close the case.

"I have a suspect," he said, but he needs witnesses to come forward.

Hansel said he doesn't know if witnesses are afraid to get involved or perhaps don't care enough to get involved.

"Or maybe they minimized the crash (in their minds)," he said. "But it comes down to your morals ... to trying to help out a 3-year-old girl who can't do it for herself."

Hansel asks that witnesses and anyone with information about the hit-and-run call or text him at (717) 324-6604.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.

LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/news/2015/08/13/police-witnesses-reluctant-hit-and-run-york-city/73437552/