NORTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — A North Kingstown woman faced a judge Friday morning for allegedly hitting two children with her car and driving off last month.
Latoya Rose, 38, was arraigned on two counts of duty to stop in accidents resulting in personal injury.
The boy and girl, ages 13 and 15, were walking home from their aunt’s house around 10 p.m. on July 16 when they were struck on Devils Foot Road. Both were brought to the hospital with serious injuries.
The victims gave police a description of the vehicle and the driver, saying she had stopped and told them she would call for help before leaving the scene. In court Friday, a prosecutor said surveillance video from the scene corroborated their story.
While responding to the crash site, police got a separate call from about a half-mile away on State Street. The caller told police they saw a woman outside an apartment building, hitting a vehicle with a bat, according to the prosecutor. Responding officers found the damaged car, but not the woman, who was identified as Rose through the vehicle’s registration.
When police later questioned her about the incident, the prosecutor said Rose claimed she “really thought she hit a deer.”
“A deer? When you literally stop and see these two kids and you told them that you called for help, but now you are mistaking them for a deer? They are two human beings, they are teenagers. She could have killed them,” the girl’s mother, Alice Schol, said outside court. “You left them there and that is not OK.”
The children were said to be walking on the grass along the roadway due to flooding in the area. Tire marks at the scene appeared to show a vehicle had veered off the road.
“She did damage to them. My nephew had staples in the back of his head. My daughter’s injured from the knee to the back of her ankle and her calf. She had internal bleeding in her kidneys,” Schol added. “[The driver] needs to pay. Bottom line.”
Prosecutors said both children were released from the hospital two or three days after the crash.
Rose was released on $10,000 personal recognizance.