12-year-old girl hit by SUV on Thursday has died

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) - Police say the 12-year-old girl that was hit by a car near an Albuquerque middle school on Thursday has died. 

The Albuquerque Police Department says the girl was crossing a busy road when the driver crashed into her.

The girl was crossing Louisiana at Natalie Avenue near Cleveland Middle School. 

KRQE News 13 spoke to students who say the crosswalk is a busy one, especially in the afternoon. 

A single SUV straddled the median of the busy road in northeast Albuquerque after the crash. 

"I think the driver just freaked out when they hit a child, they realized they hit someone, and they just ended up on the median," Officer Simon Drobik said. 

In what police are calling a tragic accident, they say the driver of the SUV was traveling on Louisiana near Montgomery when he struck a 12-year-old girl. 

"The first lane, the fast lane we would call it, a vehicle stopped and kids were walking across the stop walk... the secondary car in the slow lane just kept driving through and hit that child in the intersection," Drobik said. 

Officer Simon Drobik says the man driving immediately got out of his SUV and tried to perform CPR on the girl until officers arrived. 

She was rushed to the hospital. 

"It was a chain of events. So, you should yield to people in the crosswalk, but I don't think that person coming through saw the kids in the crosswalk," he said. 

Just feet away from the crash sits Cleveland Middle School. Students there were at a school carnival Thursday evening when the crash happened. 

People nearby say students are always crossing the street when school lets out. 

"They cross from there even when cars are coming, they just like run through the street," student Hannia Garcia said. 

Cleveland Middle School's principal sent a letter to parents Friday, identifying the girl as 12-year-old Eliza Almuina. Read the letter here >>

As police continue to investigate, they say people who witnessed the crash are really shaken up. 

"What I'm being told is this is just a tragic accident. We sealed the car for evidence and we'll do a full blown investigation, but at this time... they're saying it's just a real horrific accident," Drobik said. 

Police say so far, alcohol does not appear to be a factor and speed is yet to be determined. 


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