'She is sharp as a tack,' neighbor says about 100-year-old woman who struck teen with SUV

Melanie Rivera, 16, undergoes 2 brain surgeries after accident in Davie

By Todd Tongen - Anchor/Reporter

DAVIE, Fla. - A high school student is clinging to life after she was struck by an SUV in Davie.

A picture of Jesus in the operating room and a plea for prayers from the family of Melanie Rivera were posted on Facebook as the 16-year-old sophomore from Western High School gets two brain surgeries and fights for her life. 

Police said Rivera was struck by an SUV Thursday morning while she was crossing Nova Drive in Davie to catch her bus to school. 

Local 10 News reporter Todd Tongen knocked on the door of Rosa Preseau's home -- the driver who hit Rivera -- but there was no answer.

"She is sharp as a tack," Nancy Maisonneube said about her 100-year-old neighbor.

Davie police said Preseau is cooperating with their investigation. 

Meanwhile, witness statements and evidence show the girl may have walked into traffic when she was struck and Preseau has not been cited.

The elderly driver's neighbors said she hasn't been home since the accident. They said Preseau was on her way to St. Davids Catholic Church, where she volunteers every morning, when the accident occurred. 

"How are her driving skills?" Tongen asked Maisonneube.

"Excellent. I came back into my driveway and she backs into her driveway," Maisonneube said. 

"I have never seen her do anything wrong," another neighbor, Norma Stewart, said. 

The accident is all the more painful on campus because last fall two Western High School students were killed while walking across the street in front of the school. 

Rivera's family was not home Friday, as they were likely at her bedside. 

Meanwhile, Preseau's neighbors said the sweet centenarian they know has got to be devastated as well.

"I couldn't believe it," Maisonneube said. "I still can't believe it. I feel bad inside for her because it has got to be tearing her up."
 

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