A car plowed into a 9-year-old girl playing in her front yard. Her family wants your help finding the driver

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The family of a young girl is looking for a hit-and-run driver after security footage shows a vehicle drive through their yard and hit a 9-year-old child.

Posted: Apr 2, 2019 5:40 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2019 5:40 PM

LaDerihanna Holmes was outside playing with a friend when she caught just a glimpse of a dark car speeding toward her.

Surveillance footage shows the car flying over the curb of the girl's front lawn in Lithonia, Georgia, near Atlanta. LaDerihanna starts to sprint, but she couldn't outrun the careening car as it crashes into her and then into her house.

The 9-year-old suffered a fractured skull and a shattered pelvis that's broken in three places.

Now her family is asking for the public's help in finding the driver who fled the scene and left the girl for dead.

"She was lifeless. I was screaming," said LaDerihanna's mother, Charlotte Bolton.

LaDerihanna was hospitalized in critical condition after Friday's crash. She's since been upgraded to stable condition, her mother said Tuesday.

Bolton said even she felt the impact of the crash from inside the house.

"I heard a very bad sound, and my house shook like an earthquake," the mother said. "I immediately knew something was wrong. I screamed, 'My baby!' because I knew she was on the porch."

She raced to the front lawn, where "a lady had gotten my baby from between the car and my house," Bolton said. "Another gentleman started doing CPR."

LaDerihanna's father scooped her up and drove her to the hospital. Bolton followed another car.

As neighbors scrambled to help, the driver of the car fled without checking on the girl. Authorities are still looking for him.

"We're just hoping that he turns himself in," said attorney L. Chris Stewart, who is representing the girl's family. "He's caught on camera taking part in this horrific situation that turned into a miracle for this child. I've just never seen anything like this in my entire career."

It's also a small miracle that the family had security footage capturing both the crash and the back side of a man who fled the car.

The idea for the camera stemmed from a theft at the home.

"Someone had (stolen) my son's bicycle out of the front yard, and my husband said, 'I'm going to get cameras for the house,' " Bolton said.

But a few weeks ago, Bolton's husband thought the camera wasn't needed anymore and canceled the iCloud recording service.

"And I told him, 'We need those cameras back running.' And if it wasn't for that, we wouldn't have anything," she said.

The family decided to publicize the video in hopes that someone can identify the driver. In addition to leaving LaDerihanna critically injured, he also severely damaged the family's home.

"This car is deep in my house," Bolton said. "My basement is destroyed."

While the manhunt continues, LaDerihanna is trying to stay positive as she recovers from her extensive injuries.

"She's in a lot of pain, but she's in good spirits," her mother said. "She's a strong little girl. She's talking, she's laughing, she's joking. She's talked to her friends."

Bolton said the family is grateful for the "wide outpouring of love and support all across the world."

"LaDerihanna wanted me to tell everyone thank you so much for your prayers, your well wishes," she said.

"To all of her new friends she's gained around the world, she wanted me to say thank you for contributing to her GoFundMe that's in her name that's to pay for her unpaid medical bills, her rehabilitation and long-term care."

By Tuesday afternoon, donors had contributed more than $38,000 to the GoFundMe account for LaDerihanna's medical bills.

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