PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Family and friends of Markalyah Jackson, 17, are pleading with the driver who hit her and kept driving, to surrender to police.
“Come forward, just come forward,” said Khaliff Williams, Markalyah’s father. “It’s very overwhelming. I just can’t speak right now. I’m at a loss for words. I just want the person who hit my daughter to come forward.”
Police said Markalyah did everything right, crossing Adams Avenue at the crosswalk and with the signal. But the vehicle turning from Roosevelt Blvd, also had a green light, and struck her and didn’t stop.
“She was sent through the air about 160 feet, somewhere, which indicates that she was hit at a fairly high rate of speed,” said Capt. John Wilczynski of the Accident Investigation District.
The popular senior at Excel Academy was set to graduate high school next week.
“Kind, gentle, always willing to do something to help somebody,” said the family’s pastor, Reverend Jackie Anne Stewart, of Bickey’s New Beginning UMC.
The eldest of six, Markalyah, her cousin Eliyah Taylor said, was a model child.
“You can imagine the hurt of a father losing a daughter that beautiful,” Taylor said. “Beautiful spirit, kind, humble. Everything you would want in a daughter.”
Her family now turning to their faith for comfort.
“We’re praying for the person who struck her and that they will have a change of heart and do the right thing and turn themselves in,” Rev. Stewart said.
Police are looking for an older model, light colored, possibly silver minivan with a cracked windshield and front-end damage.