SALEM --Nine-year-old Olivia Thompson died at an Akron hospital Saturday morning after being struck in her hometown of Salem by a hit-and-run driver.
According to witnesses, the driver who hit her simply sped off. Emily Ellsworth was having dinner with friends around 9:30 p.m. Friday night. She was drawn outside by the commotion.
Once she got outside, she realized a child had been hit by a car. "A couple minutes after we got here, her parents pulled up and I realized we recognized them," said Ellsworth.
Ellsworth knows the family through her pet shop and even cared for the family's pets after their home caught fire about a year ago.
"It was hard to see such a nice little girl and such a bad thing happen," said Ellsworth, who went on to describe Olivia as a "happy, active girl" who loved animals.
Brandon Mohr was working at a tattoo shop at the time of the accident.He recalls hearing the crash thenhe, too, came outside.
"We saw a shoe laying in the street," moments before "we heard a loud engine sounded like... he was gunning it real quick to get away," said Mohr.
The driver turned himself into Salem Police Saturday morning. Police have not released his identity.
The driver has yet to be charged, but police say charges are probable and pending on the results of the investigation.