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7-Year-Old Dead In Parking Lot Crash That Injured Six

By Susy Solis, CBS 11 News
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LAKE WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - A 7-year-old girl was killed and five others were injured after a pickup truck plowed through a busy strip mall parking lot in Lake Worth.

Police say the driver of a blue Ford Truck, identified by family members as Vicente Martinez, struck two adults and four children in two separate crashes seconds apart.

Police say Martinez first struck two adults and two children in a parking lot in front of a Ross department store.

Seconds later, he struck two more children in front of Target, then swerved and hit two parked vehicles, one of which belonged to Paul Ruhl.

Ruhl had just parked his white 4 door sedan in a handicapped parking space in front of Target when the impact threw him into the driver’s side door.

“I look around and then the truck was on top of me. Then the little girl hit my windshield and was on the other side of my car and the other little girl-we thought may have been pinned underneath the truck but she was not,” Ruhl said.

Before he got out his vehicle, Ruhl saw Martinez get out of his truck.

“When he opened his door, he had to walk across my hood to get out his truck and when he opened the door, he looked dazed,” Ruhl said.

Family members say Martinez may have suffered a diabetic emergency during the crash. Driver Flo Hannan came out of Target to see what was happening only to see her white van had been hit also.

“Oh, I was scared. My little granddaughter got scared. She said, ‘Is that little girl alright?’ They told us some guy came flying through the parking lot and hit people and swerved and ran up on the car,” she said.

A 7-year -old girl was airlifted to Cook Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Another child remains there with serious, but non-life threatening injuries.

The other four victims were transported to Harris Methodist Hospital with non-life threatening injures.

Martinez was also transported to Harris Methodist hospital for evaluation.

Police are awaiting the results of his evaluation to determine if charges will be filed.

The identities of the victims have not been released.

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