Girl dies, aunt hurt after being struck by car

February 17, 2010 4:28:28 PM PST
Police say a 6-year-old girl is dead and her aunt seriously hurt after they were hit by a car in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood Tuesday night.Jada Washington, 6, was killed when she was struck by a van as she and her aunt, 21-year-old Tiuette Richardson, were crossing the street at Ashland and 74th Street at around 6:30 p.m.

Richardson was upgraded to serious condition Wednesday afternoon at Christ Medical Center in Oaklawn. Washington, of the 1400-block of West 73rd Street, was pronounced dead Tuesday night at Comer Children's Hospital.

The driver of the minivan, 48-year-old Eddie Lumpkin of the 7300-block of South Damen, has been cited with lack of insurance, failure to reduce speed, lack of driver's license, negligent driving, striking a pedistrian in the roadway and driving under the influence. More charges could follow.

Jada is being remembered as a little angel with a big heart.

Family members of the alleged drunk driver say their hearts go out to the victims' families.

In a tragic twist of fate, the girl's mother had passed the accident scene on her way home not knowing her daughter was involved.

"I didn't know it was her," Washington said. "I just came home and I'm just thinking, OK, maybe she went in the house. She's downstairs. That's what they do. They come home from school. They play with her. She was just down there. I thought she was downstairs with her aunt. But I don't know, I got that phone call."

The little girl and her aunt were on their way home from an errand to buy candy at a corner store. The family said they thought something was wrong when the two did not return home. When the child's parents went to the hospital, they were told that their baby died.

"She was a good little girl," said Jada's mother, Areathea Washington. "She had a strong little heart. She loved babies. She was a little blessing. She was a good little spirit. She was my baby."

Lumpkin's family says they talked with him.

"All we know is that he was saying he was driving down the street and the people jaywalked right in front of them and he hit them and never saw them and that's what happened," said Ricky Ford, Lumpkin's brother-in-law.

Ford says his brother-in-law is a good man and a hard worker.

"He works every day, six days a week and just had gotten off of work," said Ford.

Lumpkin is currently in police custody.