Three girls playing on sidewalk hit by car in Loudoun

A 7-year-old girl remained hospitalized in critical condition Friday, a day after she and two other girls were struck by a car driven by a teenage girl who was taking a driving lesson from her father in Ashburn, Loudoun County sheriff’s officials said.

Authorities said the accident occurred on Morven Woods Court about 6:45 p.m. Thursday, when the teen mistakenly accelerated the Toyota Camry she was driving after the vehicle jumped a curb. The car then struck the three girls as they played on the sidewalk.

The 7-year-old girl was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital. The other girls, two sisters ages 8 and 10, were taken to Inova Loudoun Hospital with less serious injuries and were released Friday, officials said.

Neighbors said the commotion after the accident drew residents outside, where they were confronted with a disturbing scene: Police cruisers and emergency vehicles cast the neighborhood’s homes in flashing lights, and news trucks began to gather along the streets.

Kraig Troxell, spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, said the 15-year-old driver had turned the Camry onto Morven Woods Court from Red Admiral Place when the car jumped a curb. The driver mistakenly hit the accelerator, he said, sending the vehicle careening toward the three children on the sidewalk.

The car continued to roll through the yard and into the wooded area at the end of the cul-de-sac, Troxell said. Tire tracks in the muddy grass were still visible Friday morning where the car came to a stop among the trees.

Eric Grandy, who lives on Morven Woods Court, said his daughter called him at work Thursday evening to tell him that an accident had occurred just outside.

Later in the evening, he said, neighbors gathered outside to try to find out what happened.

“I’m deeply upset about it. This is a real tragedy, for everyone,” Grandy said. “For the driver, and for the kids, of course.”

Grandy said the two young sisters sometimes came over to use his family’s trampoline or to play with their dog. “We’re a closely knit neighborhood,” he said.

Authorities said the teen driver had a learner’s permit. In Virginia, a teen must be 15½ to obtain a permit.

Grandy said that neighbors were forming a support network for the family of the girl who remained hospitalized.

“We’ll absolutely organize something,” he said. Standing on his porch in the morning sun, he looked across the street to the home where the little girl’s family lives.

“We’ll take care of them,” he said.

Caitlin Gibson is a local news and features writer for The Washington Post.
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