Arrest Made in Hit-and-Run That Critically Hurt Girl, 4

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    Carlie Rodriguez was critically hurt on Monday, April 22, 2013, by the driver of a black Ford Mustang, which was falsely reported stolen after the collision. Riverside police arrested a man in connection with the hit and run on Thursday, April 23, 2013.

    A driver has been arrested in connection with a hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 4-year-old girl, four days shy of her fifth birthday.

    Ricardo Gamez, 20, of Oceanside, was arrested Thursday afternoon, Riverside police announced in a news release Thursday evening.

    Girl, 4, Critically Hurt in Riverside Hit and Run

    [LA] Girl, 4, Critically Hurt in Riverside Hit and Run
    The driver of a stolen Ford Mustang slammed into a sedan in Riverside, seriously injuring a 4-year-old girl sitting in a booster seat. Authorities are probing whether the crash was the result of street racing. Tony Shin reports from Riverside for the NBC4 News at 5p.m. on April 22, 2013. (Published Monday, April 22, 2013)

    Driving a black Ford Mustang, Gamez is suspected of speeding down Magnolia Avenue shortly before 2 p.m. on Monday when he broadsided a Chevy Malibu trying to turn right onto Magnolia Avenue from Nelson Street.

    In a booster seat, Carlie Rodriguez was in the left rear passenger seat at the time of the crash, police said. She was taken to the hospital with swelling in her brain and was still listed in critical condition Friday night.

    Father of 4-Year-Old Hit-and-Run Victim: "I Wish it Was Me"

    [LA] Father of 4-Year-Old Hit-and-Run Victim: "I Wish it Was Me"
    Aaron Rodriguez was driving his wife and daughter to their Riverside home Monday afternoon when their sedan was broadsided by the driver of a stolen Ford Mustag. The driver ran away, leaving 4-year-old Carlie Rodriguez fighting for her life. Rodriguez says he ripped off his car door to get to his daughter, unconscious in her booster seat. Kim Baldonado reports from Riverside for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on April 22, 2013. (Published Tuesday, April 23, 2013)

    Carlie’s father Aaron Rodriguez was driving the family’s Malibu at the time of the crash. His wife was also in the car. Both were unharmed.

    The Mustang (pictured below) was reported stolen soon after the crash, but investigators determined that was a false report meant to conceal the driver's identity.

    Investigators originally believed the driver of the Mustang may have been racing another motorist before the crash, but said there is no further evidence to support that and they are no longer looking for the driver of a red or orange two-door coupe seen driving next to the Mustang moments before the collision.

    Gamez faces one count of felony hit and run, police said. Additional charges are pending against those involved in falsely reporting the Mustang stolen.

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