Police Seek Hit-and-Run Driver Who Ran Down 6-Year-Old Girl Crossing Riverside Street

Police were asking for the public's help in finding a hit-and-run driver who ran down a 6-year-old girl crossing the street in Riverside last week, leaving the child with major injuries.

The driver was heading down Iowa Avenue just before Villa Street about 2:30 pm. Friday when he struck the girl with the front end of his four-door utility truck at about 45 mph, according to the Riverside Police Department.

The girl, Deasha Butts, remained in intensive care Tuesday with bruised lungs, bleeding from the brain, and a fractured pelvis and leg. It marked her seventh birthday.

Her cousin said the family is appalled someone could hit the little girl and keep driving.

"I'm mad. I'm disgusted. I'm appalled," Kim Thompson said.

Deasha and some friends were crossing Iowa Avenue when the pickup hit her. Witnesses said the man, described as heavyset in his 40s or 50s with a gray goatee, stopped, got out, and saw what he had done.

"Then he made a bad choice. He got back in his car and he took off," said CHP Officer Travis Monks.

He is believed to live or work in the area, police said.

The man behind the wheel of the red, 1999-2009 Chevrolet 2500 / 3500 utility truck kept going, and was last seen turning left onto Center Street from Iowa Avenue.

The girl was taken to Loma Linda Medical Center, where she was being treated.

The pickup truck had four doors, storage compartments built into the quarter panels and a utility rack over the bed. The front bumper and rims appeared to be chrome.

Anyone with information was asked to call the California Highway Patrol' Riverside Area office at 951-637-8000 or Inland Division Investigation Service Unit at 909-428-5400.

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