AUBURNDALE, Fla. — Auburndale Police are investigating the death of a 6-year-old girl on Wednesday morning after she was hit by a vehicle.
Police Chief Andy Ray confirmed the young girl, identified as Ra’nesha Jackson, was hit and killed by a vehicle at the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and Havendale Boulevard, where U.S. 92 splits at downtown Auburndale, just before 6:30 a.m.
Ra’nesha Jackson is described by her family as a funny girl who would light up the room. Wednesday morning, they learned the unimaginable happened.
“The dad called me when I was in the kitchen preparing to go to work and the dad called and said Ra’nesha dead. I said 'What?!' He said, 'Ra’nesha is dead.' I said, 'How?!'" said Susan Rodgers, grandmother of Ra’nesha Jackson.
Her grandmother tells ABC Action News she had just dropped off Ra’nesha at her parents' house on Monday and planned to pick her up Friday night for a party.
“I said baby, see your clothes there. I just bought your clothes, so you have new clothes to wear to the party. And only this morning Ra’nesha is dead,” Rodgers said.
Chief Ray said one of his officers spotted the child in the median and made a U-turn. Before the officer could get to the girl, she ran across the street and was struck by a pickup truck heading eastbound on U.S. 92.
Ray said the driver who struck Ra’nesha didn't immediately realize he hit her and was flagged down by the driver of a semi about three miles down the road. Ray said the driver turned around and returned to the scene.
The Chief said the girl was out looking for her mother who had left their home following an argument with her father.
“They fight days upon days, days upon days, and she would leave them for days,” said Yanique Clarke, Aunt of Ra’nesha Jackson.
Her family said Ra’nesha and her siblings had been in DCF custody before, and police have been called to the house several times in the past.
The driver's vehicle had dashcam video, which police are also reviewing. Chief Ray said the driver was not reckless and was actually going below the speed limit at the time. Police say charges are not anticipated at this time for the driver.