WEST NEW YORK, New Jersey --Police in New Jersey are searching for a hit-and-run driver after a 7-year-old girl was struck and killed by a vehicle Monday morning.
Sheyla Pichardo was on her way to school with her mother at 62nd Street and Van Buren Avenue in West New York when they were both hit and pinned.
The mother, who was also injured, told police that a passenger got out of the vehicle and saw what had happened, and that person then got back in the car, which then sped away.
"If you see, coward, if you see whoever, if you're there watching, please show yourself," family friend Paula Ossario said. "If you have a heart, something that is pumping in your body, show yourself. It's not fair. You took the life of an angel...If I tell you about Sheyla, a smile comes to my face. That was her. She was the happiest baby. "
Police are looking for a new black Chevy Tahoe with temporary tags, chrome running boards and chrome hubcaps in connection to the accident.
They have located surveillance video that shows the vehicle leaving the scene, and they hope to get the tag number from the vehicle.
Pichardo was a first-grade student at School #1, where counseling is now being provided to staff and students at the school.
Her father tells Eyewitness News that she was the couple's only child and his angel.
West New York Mayor Felix Roque said flags are flying at half staff in her memory, and that the city will handle funeral costs.
"I actually knew the mother," he said. "She used to work in a nail salon. Very humble, very poor family, Mexican family. And we're going to cover all the costs. The flag is at half-mast now in West New York. We're treating this like a dignitary because this is a tragedy, it's a 7-year-old wonderful girl.
Anyone with information is urged to call police.