HIGHLAND, Calif. (KDVR) — Update (July 8): Police in California have arrested 40-year-old Brian Petit and charged him with vehicular manslaughter and hit-and-run causing injury or death.
Surveillance from a nearby business helped investigators identify the vehicle involved, and they were eventually able to get a search warrant for a home on Fire Oak Drive in the City of Highland.
At the home, they discovered a vehicle matching the description with damage consistent with the crash.
Original story (July 1): An 11-year-old from Firestone, Colorado was killed Monday night during a hit-and-run crash in Highland, California.
Local police said it happened around 8:30 p.m. at the intersection of Church Street and Glenheather Drive. The vehicle involved is a dark-colored SUV that was traveling south on Church Street when it collided with the girl. The driver of the vehicle left the scene.
Annika Fullerton was in California with her mother for a women’s retreat with her family. She was out for a walk with her two cousins that night, according to her father, Jim Fullerton. Her father said Annika was pronounced dead after she was taken to the hospital.
“She was the joy of my life and now she’s gone,” said Jim Fullerton.
Annika was set to start the sixth grade this fall.
Jim Fullerton described his daughter as a smart, kind girl who got along with everyone.
He hopes the driver who did this comes forward to give his family some sense of peace.
“It’ll help a little bit. It won’t bring Annika back, but especially for family members, they will be relieved that they caught the guy,” said Jim Fullerton.
Family friends set up a GoFundMe Page to help the family cover the cost of moving Annika from California to Colorado and to help with funeral expenses.