A 16-year-old Broward County girl has died after she was hit by an SUV last week on her way to school.
Melani Rivera was a sophomore at Western High School. An SUV driven by 100-year-old Rosamond C. Preseau struck Melani about 6 am. Thursday as she walked to a bus stop in the 8200 block of Nova Drive.
Preseau stayed at the scene and was cooperating with the investigation, police said.
Preseau could not be reached for comment, but her neighbors praised her driving skills.
"She is sharp as a tack," Nancy Maisonneube said Friday about her 100-year-old neighbor.
Preseau was on her way to St. David Catholic Church, where she volunteers every morning, when the accident occurred.
Witnesses told police that Melani may have walked into traffic when she was struck.
Kristy Crawford, a friend of the Rivera family, started a GoFundMe page last week to raise money for Rivera's medical bills.
"Melani has a heart of gold and beautiful soul," Crawford said. "Heaven has gained an angel."
Classmates said Melani underwent multiple brain surgeries, but she died of her injuries Monday.
"This tragedy has taken the family by surprise. It's not fair for this to happen to such a pure soul," friend Karin Sofia Vela said.
The incident comes several months after two teenage girls died after they too were struck by a car near Western High School.
Police said Alicia Cerrato, 15, and Andrea De Las Salas were hit by a car on Nov. 3 while crossing Southwest 136th Avenue on their way to the St. Bonaventure Family Festival near their school.
Police said the 18-year-old driver who struck them with his Dodge Neon stayed at the scene and has not been cited.