Authorities are looking for a driver who they say crashed into two pedestrians, killing a 14-year-old girl and injuring her friend.
Allana Staiano and her friend Taylor Stewart were walking home in North Fort Myers, Florida, at about 7 p.m. on Saturday when the vehicle struck them both. While Stewart suffered a broken arm, Staiano’s injuries were much more serious. As witnesses arrived to help the girls, the driver of the vehicle drove off.
Witnesses describe a terrifying, chaotic scene.
In an interview with NBC-2, Taylor Stewart said she immediately realized Allana was gravely injured. “She was barely breathing,” she told the station. “She was breathing, but barely.”
“One girl was laying there not moving,” witness Michael Strickland tells WINK-TV. “The other girl was sitting next to her, screaming.”
Strickland called 911 and then tried to help the girls. “We took [Allana’s] pulse, and I couldn’t get a pulse,” he told the station. “He couldn’t get a pulse, and she was starting to get cold already.”
Staiano was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
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For Taylor Stewart, the loss of her “happy” friend is almost unimaginable. “Her personality was amazing,” she told Fox-4. “She loved all her friends. She loved her family, her new puppy.”
Allana Staiano leaves behind a twin brother and four sisters. Her grandparents have started a fundraiser on Facebook to help raise money for funeral expenses.
A family friend, Cyra Strub, told WINK-TV that the community is in mourning.
“She’s so young,” Strub said. “She had her whole life ahead of her. She still had school. She had time to fall in love. And it just hurts.”
Anyone with information about the crash is asked to contact The Lee County Sheriff’s Office at (239) 477-1000.