HARRISON COUNTY, MS (The Sun Herald) – A man who is in the United States illegally and living in Gulfport is in custody in Harrison County on felony charges of leaving the scene of an accident that seriously injured a Pass Christian teen.
Harrison County deputies arrested David Hernandez, 33, on Friday night shortly after he hit the teen as she attempted to cross U.S. 90 to get to the Pass Christian Harbor, Police Chief Tim Hendricks said.
The girl was attending Christmas in the Pass with friends.
“She had significant injuries at the time we got to her,” Hendricks said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to her family at this time.”
Julia Usprich’s family said the impact cracked the girl’s skull, broke her legs, bruised her lungs and caused other injuries.
As a result, her great aunt, Jeana Weiss, said doctors first had to operate shortly after the accident Friday night to help reduce swelling in the girl’s brain.
She’s had other surgeries since then, with more ahead of her.
On Saturday, she was in serious but stable condition in the intensive care unit.
After the girl was hit, Hendricks said, police got a description of the driver’s white Toyota Corolla and sent an alert to local law enforcement agencies.
A Harrison County deputy stopped Hernandez minutes later at Freddy Franks Road and Menge Avenue.
A blood sample was taken to determine whether Hernandez was impaired at the time.
Hernandez is being held at the Harrison County jail on $200,00 bond set by Judge Phillip Whitman. A hold has also been placed on him for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Anyone who witnessed the accident or shot video of it should call Pass Christian police at 228-452-3301 or call Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.
Since the incident, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the girl’s family with medical expenses.