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 with her father in Ashburn, according to Loudoun County sheriff’s officials.
The accident occurred on Morven Woods Court around 6:45 p.m. Thursday, authorities said, when the teen driver mistakenly accelerated the Toyota Camry, which then jumped a curb and struck the three girls as they played on the sidewalk.
The 7-year-old girl was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital with life-threatening injuries. 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 nearby residents outside, where they were confronted with a disturbing scene: police cruisers and emergency vehicles cast the neighborhood’s stately 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, which sent the vehicle careening toward the three children playing 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 at the site where the car finally 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 together outside to try to find out what happened, he said.
“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 15 ½ years old to obtain a learner’s permit.
Grandy said that neighbors were already forming a support network for the family of the girl who remained in critical condition.
“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.