BROCKTON (CBS) – Family members are outraged after a mother and daughter were struck while waiting for the school bus by a woman who only has her learner’s permit.
Neyla Prince, 6, was airlifted to a Boston hospital after suffering a punctured lung and two broken ribs following the crash on Colonel Bell Drive about 9 a.m. Wednesday, her aunt, Lesha Prince, told WBZ-TV.
The girl’s mother, Stephanie Prince, 29, was also hospitalized with hip and leg injuries. The unidentified driver struck a building after hitting the pair.
“I’m thankful my daughter is alive. But now I have to deal with pain,” said Stephanie Prince. “Because she got in the car and put the car in reverse. She’s lucky all I did was try to get away from her.”
Lesha Prince shared similar frustration.
“Drive with a license. Why are you driving without a license?” Lesha Prince said.
A man who identified himself as the husband of the driver told WBZ-TV that his wife holds a learner’s permit and was awaiting her driver’s license.
He said his wife, who is also the victims’ neighbor, heard a honk from another car passing behind her while she was backing out of a parking space in front of the building, and that caused the crash.
Stephanie Prince says the driver was urging her not to call police.
“She was saying ‘Don’t call, don’t call.’ And you guys are not the only ones who will hear it from my mouth,” Stephanie Prince said.
Brockton Police said the 35-year-old woman who was behind the wheel was issued a citation and been charged with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle and a marked lanes violation. She will be criminally summonsed to Brockton District Court at a later date.
Neyla and her mother were both were pinned down by the car, after the confused driver pressed the gas pedal instead of the brake while backing out of the space, witnesses said. Arguing and commotion followed.
Mike Prince, the girl’s grandfather, tried to get to the crash victims through his front door, but the door was damaged and blocked by the driver’s car.
“I tried to pull the panels so I could get at them, but I couldn’t,” he said.
The crash damaged the front of a unit in the Colonel Bell Drive Apartments complex. Witness Tim Collins described a horrific scene.
“I heard a loud scream, a child screaming. I said, ‘That doesn’t sound right,’ so I ran out,” Collins said.
The girl’s mother, wearing a neck brace, could be seen crying as first responders treated her at the scene.
Witnesses say three children were in the car with the driver who was able to get out, and an argument soon followed.
“(There was) talking out loud, screaming, because of the kids inside the car,” Eddie Diaz-Roman told WBZ-TV.
Despite injuries to herself and her daughter, Stephanie Prince said she feels fortunate.
“Thank god that (my daughter) is OK. It could have been a lot worse. But people need to smarten up on the road,” said Stephanie Prince.