Public's Help Sought to Solve Hit-and-Run That Critically Hurt Girl, 4

A new photo was released Wednesday of two cars believed to have been street racing before one of them slammed into a family, critically injuring a young girl, four days shy of her fifth birthday.

The drivers of a black Ford Mustang and an orange or red two-door import sports car may have been racing on Magnolia Avenue Monday afternoon, according to the Riverside Police Department.

They were speeding north toward Magnolia Avenue and Nelson Street when the Mustang broadsided a Chevy Malibu trying to turn right onto Magnolia Avenue. The crash happened shortly before 2 p.m. Monday in the 6800 block of Magnolia Avenue, police said.

Seated in a booster seat, 4-year-old Carlie Rodriguez was in the left rear passenger seat, police said. She was taken to the hospital where she was listed in critical condition with swelling in her brain.

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 unarmed.

The driver of the Mustang – which was later determined to be stolen – stopped to check on the family before running away, police said.

He is described as a Hispanic male in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing between 170 and 200 pounds, with black hair, police said. He was wearing a white t-shirt at the time of the crash.

The driver of the orange or red car continued moving north on Magnolia Avenue, toward Riverside Plaza. That car appeared to be a two-door coupe with a grey or black hood, possibly made of carbon-fiber.

Surveillance cameras at nearby intersections captured images of the cars released Wednesday, authorities said, adding that they hope the “distinctive appearance of the second vehicle” will generate tips about its owner.

Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Rick Prince at 951-826-8722 or send a direct message to the Riverside Police Department’s Facebook page.

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