Updated: Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010, 11:20 PM EST
Published : Wednesday, 27 Jan 2010, 5:31 PM EST
Canton (WTNH) - A seven year old girl is recovering after being struck by a hit and run driver. Tonight, her father is talking about the accident that nearly took his little girl's life.
The posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour on Dowd Avenue in Canton, but most of the cars go by much faster than that.
"We were approaching to cross the street, obviously we have to wait five minutes this way, five minutes that way, we all know the routine," said Juan Melendez Junior.
It was a normal day for Juan. His daughter Annabeth had gotten off the schoolbus and they were walking to a nearby convenience store for snacks. While walking back, they crossed the street in front of their house.
"Next thing you know, I hear a thump, I look to my left and my daughter's thrown probably 8, 10 feet. A red car hit Annabeth and took off," Juan said. "I drop everything, I run over there, I grab her by the neck and thank God for the Canton people, they came around and somebody knew CPR."
Juan says strangers ran over to help the girl who was knocked unconscious. Annabeth was rushed to Hartford Hospital with critical injuries while police searched for the hit and run driver.
"We did get some helpful information last night. We identified the operator of the evading vehicle, we do have possession of that vehicle right now," said Deputy Chief Don Hull, Canton Police Department. "We'll be working with the accident reconstruction team, piecing together all the information, processing the vehicle and try to determine exactly what happened."
Annabeth has been upgraded to stable condition.
No charges have been filed yet but Melendez said he's relieved the investigation has moved this far, this fast. Now, he's free to focus on what's most important, Annabeth.
"That's my little Annie," he said.
Melendez said his daughter is tough and he thinks she will pull through this. He says he hopes that this will now make cars slow down on this road.