By CHRIS HARRIS, CJ Staff Writer Commonwealth Journal
“It’s very upsetting ... especially if you have children.”
The words of Erica Hatter, visibly shaken after what had just taken place on Murphy Avenue in Somerset — Hatter had accidentally hit an 8-year-old girl crossing the street.
Hatter, 29, of Somerset, was headed home from work in her 2005 Chrysler Pacifica when she came into contact with Hailey Belcher, 8, who was walking with friends along the road when the accident happened.
According to Somerset Police, Belcher ran into traffic while attempting to cross Murphy Avenue from the west to the east side, about 100 feet south of the intersection with Griffin Avenue.
Hatter was headed south on Murphy and attempted to stop and pull into the opposite lane to avoid striking Belcher, according to police; she was able to stop right at impact, but hit Belcher with the right front bumper.
“I saw the little girl and (whoever was with her), they were on the right side of the highway and the little boy and other guy was on the left side of the highway,” said Hatter. “I was going under the speed limit and saw they were getting ready to cross. I thought that surely they’d stay put, but the little girl darted out in front of me as soon as I got to her area.
“I slammed on the brakes, I even swerved, but I got her with the corner of the car,” she added.
According to police, witnesses confirmed that Hatter did her best to avoid the collision, but that Belcher ran out in front of her vehicle.
Belcher had minor visible injuries to her face and was being treated for possible head trauma. Somerset Police said that she was flow to the University of Kentucky Medical Center for treatment of her injuries.
Somerset Police were assisted at the scene by Somerset-Pulaski County EMS and the Somerset Fire Department.