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Kokomo PD: 10-year-old girl seriously injured in hit-and-run crash, driver found

Around 8:15 a.m., Kokomo police officers responded to the 600 block of Southlea Drive, near West Alto Road on the city's south side, for the crash.

KOKOMO, Ind. — Every day, 10-year-old Chloe Coleman, 10, walks from her home in the Briarwick Apartments to catch her school bus.

"She usually waits for the bus and she left and walked out in the parking lot," said her brother Devo Bates.

It was around 8:15 a.m. Tuesday when her family says she tried to avoid a speeding SUV on Southlea Drive.

"She went between these two cars and the dude was coming, and she saw it was coming, and she backed up. She even took a step back and put her hands up and dude didn't stop," said Bates.

Bates said the driver then got out of his vehicle.

"He gets out of the car and goes to talk to the bus driver and after he talks to the bus driver, he goes up to my sister's house to go talk to her. My sister was telling him over and over again to stay here. Don't go anywhere. She turned her back for a second and he was gone," said Bates.

Kokomo police officers arrived on scene and say witnesses helped investigators locate the driver and the black Dodge Ram truck.

"Witnesses believed that the truck belonged in that area. It was somebody that was known. Since that time the driver of that vehicle has been located," said Kokomo Police Capt. Richard Benzinger.

Benzinger said the driver is being cooperative with investigators.

Coleman was rushed to Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in critical, but stable, condition.

"She has no lacerations or nothing to her body. It's just her lip is, like, hanging off," said Bates.

Doctors say Chloe has to undergo surgery.

"(Children) are very resilient. They often can heal quicker than adults can," said Abigail Adkins, pediatric trauma program manager at Peyton Manning Children's Hospital.

It's the kind of reassurance Adkins offers families.

"We meet people, especially around traumatic events and often on their worst days where they are going through a really traumatic experience. I think any reassurance that we can give them, that this is something we handle all the time at the hospital, so we know what they're doing. They're in the right place being cared for and that we're going to be with them every step of the way," said Adkins.

It's something Bates appreciates knowing his little sister will need time to heal.

"She's fighting and she's tough. She really is, but it's just like why her out of everybody, especially all the stuff that we've been through in a couple years and past few months. It's just taken a toll on our family and we're ready for it to stop," said Bates.

Coleman lost both her parents.

"She's so sweet and it's crazy because being 10 years old and going through so much and still have the heart to sit there and show compassion... it's a blessing. She's a trooper," said Bates.

Kokomo police say the Howard County Prosecutor's Office is now reviewing the case.

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact the Kokomo Police Department at 765-456-7017.

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