8-year-old killed in hit-and-run crash in Southwest Florida

Posted at 9:15 AM, Mar 26, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-26 11:16:09-04

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — 8-year-old Layla Aiken died in a hit and run crash Monday morning. It happened on NE 3rd Avenue and NE 19th Terrace while she waited for the school bus with her two older brothers.

Neighbors have since set up a memorial of flowers and teddy bears where it happened.

Family members said she was sitting down reading a book in the grass away from the road. That’s when Cape Coral Police say a red pick up truck ran into her and kept going. Aiken later died.

Her older cousin Rachel Ortiz says she brought so much love and laughter to their family. “She was so sweet. She always made it a point to say hi, goodbye, give everybody hugs,” she said. “She was always happy. Every time you saw her there was a smile on her face. And just a pleasure to be around.”

Neighbors said the bus stop where Aikens waited is dangerous and needs more stop signs. There’s a stop sign on NE 19th Terrace, but there’s not a stop sign for drivers driving on NE 3rd Avenue.

Sheryle Sprissler who lives farther down 19th said something needs to be done to protect children waiting for the bus. “It’s really scary. There’s a lot of kids around here. And that corner of third and 19th, it’s only a two-way stop, and it should be a four-way stop. Or at least have somebody watching out for the kids when the school buses come,” she said.

As of now it’s not clear which direction the driver came from, on the road with the stop sign or the one without it.

Cape Coral Police are still looking for the driver of that red pick up truck who they say is responsible for Aiken’s death. Ortiz said she hopes the driver turns him or herself in. “We’re hoping that person comes forward, so we can get some closure. And her parents can get some closure,” she said.

Police urge anyone with information to contact them as soon as possible.

A Major Crash Investigator, Victim Advocate, Forensics, and a Drug Recognition Expert responded to assist with this investigation.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help Layla's family.

Layla Aiken.jpeg<div class="Figure-credit" itemprop="author">g/CYoKyaXO2pTJqqaLNNsdqa0RUnMyWEdGOtgC/22Hl9K4ZBNW3THIxY71EF6vCFOQz2dcSm/tx6Z8S2lZ1WyQ==
Layla Aiken

(Original story below)

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Police say a pedestrian was seriously injured in a hit and run crash in Cape Coral Monday morning.

The crash happened around 6:50 a.m. at the intersection of NE 3rd Avenue and NE 19th Terrace.

According to Cape Coral Police, a red pickup truck was said to have left the scene after hitting a pedestrian.

The roadway is blocked off at that intersection while they investigate. Drivers should avoid that area if possible.

We'll update as more information is made available.