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Driver Arrested in Riverside County Hit-and-Run Crash

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A 48-year-old Jurupa Valley man was arrested on suspicion of a felony hit-and-run crash that critically injured a 7-year-old girl. According to a news report in The Press-Enterprise, the incident occurred when 7-year-old DeAsha Butts was walking home from school the afternoon of February 27, 2016. She was crossing Iowa Avenue near Villa Street in the unincorporated community of Highgrove in front of her home when a northbound truck struck her.

Severe Injuries Sustained

DeAsha suffered bleeding from her brain, a bruised lung, fractured pelvis, leg fractures and multiple scrapes. Her left ear had to be reattached. The driver fled the scene. The CHP asked for the public’s help to locate the driver. Officials said tips came in at the rate or two or three an hour on this case. They eventually made an arrest March 2, taking 48-year-old Brendan Garth Vinson into custody. Officials said this is the third hit-and-run in the past 12 months in which tips from the public led to an arrest.

Our thoughts and prayers are with young DeAsha Butts, who has apparently suffered critical injuries in this hit-and-run crash. We wish her the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.

How the Public Can Help

The city of Los Angeles has instituted a reward program. We can only hope that such programs offer community members the incentive to contact law enforcement officials with any information they have. Let us take a moment to think about the families of hit-and-run victims. Not only are they emotionally devastated by the incident, but they are also struggling financially with medical bills, hospitalization and surgery costs.

In this particular case, the parents and other family members probably have to take time off work to care for their loved one. Hit-and-run drivers must be held accountable. Drivers need to realize that they cannot get away with leaving the scene of a crash. The public is waking up to this epidemic. It’s time drivers took responsibility for their actions.

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