DETROIT (WWJ) – A 16-year-old girl is in critical condition after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver outside of a school on the Detroit-Hamtramck border.

The accident happened Friday morning outside Frontier International Academy on Conant Street near Charles Street, just south of the Davison Freeway.

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According to police, the girl was struck by a white or tan van in front of the school. After the collision, the driver fled the scene.

The girl was rushed to Detroit Receiving Hospital by ambulance. Administrators say the girl is a 9th grader at the school, although her name was not released.

Emron Ali told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas he saw the whole thing happen.

“The car just hit her. They hit her and then they kept going for another 500 feet and then she rolled over. So, the car didn’t stop at all,” Ali said. “That car was speeding, definitely, because it’s a school zone, they’re usually 25 miles per hour. She got hit at probably, that car was going probably 50 miles per hour.”

Ali said the impact was so severe, it knocked the girl right out of her shoes and she traveled about 500 feet after that.

“She wasn’t moving until her mom started to touch her; her mom was right behind her, watching her cross the street,” he said. “But then she started to breathe a little and she started to moan.”

Ali said some street lights in the area were on at the time, but others were off. While talking with Vickie Thomas in front of the school, the street lights were off.

“They roll them in and out, turn a few off and turn a few on, but it doesn’t make sense to turn off the street lights near schools,” Ali said. “This light particularly, the one at Charles and Conant was not working. He had his high beams on and she was on the northbound side on Conant, so there’s a high possibility the driver didn’t even see her until she got hit.”

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Principal Dr. Adnan Aabed said the girl was the fourth student hit by a car near the school in the past two months. He said two girls were recently hit on Charles Street.

“They are, until now, medically being taken care of at home, after they left the hospital, it’s like around 40 days so far,” he said.

Aabed said he has contacted the city about the broken street lights near his school but so far hasn’t received a response.

“You never see them on and I stop by every day between 6:30 to 7 a.m. and they are always off,” he said.

English teacher Jessica Madden said the street light outage has been on her mind for a while and after the latest accident, she’s pushing her students to help make a change.

“This whole last week I’ve been driving to school thinking to myself ‘Somehow I’m going to call the mayor’s office and let them know, at least you should have the lights outside of a school. It needs to be well-lit in the mornings.’ And in fact, today I made an assignment for my students, they’re going to be writing emails to the mayor’s office,” she said.

Police are new searching for the suspect who hit the girl, said to be driving a white or tan-colored van. A description of the suspect was not immediately available.

Anyone with information is urged to contact police at 313-267-4600.

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