Girl, 7, dies after being struck by SUV outside school in Pembroke Pines

Police: Driver suffered ‘sudden medical event’ before crashing into child

A girl died on Friday in the hospital after a driver struck her while she was riding her bicycle on Thursday in Pembroke Pines.

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – A 7-year-old girl has died after being struck by an SUV Thursday afternoon while she was riding her bicycle outside her school in Pembroke Pines, authorities confirmed Friday.

Police said the driver, Nicholas Patil Matthews, 40, of Pembroke Pines, experienced a “sudden medical event” before running a stop sign and hitting the child, whose identity has not been publicly released.

“Alcohol, drug impairment, or negligence is not suspected at this time on behalf of the driver however, this investigation remains ongoing,” the police department said in a news release.

Officers said a man suffered a medical episode when he ran a stop sign and ran over a 7-year-old girl on Thursday in Pembroke Pines. She died on Friday.

A day after the young girl was struck by the SUV, parents told Local 10 News that the intersection outside Lakeside Elementary School is too dangerous.

“My kid was also almost hit in that intersection,” Mayerling Marcano said.

Police say Matthews struck the child with his vehicle around 2 p.m. Thursday at the intersection of Northwest 136th Avenue and 10th Street.

While Thursday’s incident appears to be a tragic accident, parents say fast, reckless driving in the school zone is persistent and tragedy was inevitable.

“They don’t come on a daily basis. We need police assistance here every day,” Marcano said.

Pembroke Pines parents are brainstorming ways to keep their children safe after a young girl was struck by an SUV while riding her bicycle home from school.

Marcano says the police presence in the morning after the girl was hit is not a common sight, but it should be. She says crossing guards are there daily, but that’s clearly not enough to keep kids safe.

“People don’t pay attention to the guards,” she said. “Even myself, I’m scared of crossing the street.”

Omaris Garrido lives near the four-way stop intersection where the girl was hit and she shares Marcano’s opinion of the dangerous intersection.

A Local 10 News crew spoke to her Thursday after the girl was rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.

“I knew that that was going to happen,” Garrido said.

She says too many drivers just don’t stop.

“They don’t respect the stop sign,” Garrido said. “This is an innocent kid that is coming out of school, supposed to be going home safe after school to do their homework, not to the hospital.”

Officers say the driver is expected to be OK.

Marcano says parents are getting together to brainstorm what can be done to protect their kids.

“We need police because if people don’t see police, they just don’t pay attention,” she said. “They run, they speed, so we need police on a constant basis.”


About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.