Family seeks answers after 13-year-old girl injured in hit-and-run on Merritt Island
Baili Filliben suffers leg injuries in crash
A family is pleading with Florida Highway Patrol troopers to find the driver who hit a 13-year-old girl and then took off.
Baili Filliben was hit more than a week ago by a driver at North Courtenay Pkwy near Merritt Island High School. The driver sped through a red light knocking Baili off her bike.
Her father, Drew Filliben, is upset because he doesn't believe enough is being done to find whoever is responsible. They shared their story with Local 6, with the hopes of catching the person who left Baili with severe leg injuries.
“I don't understand how you could hit someone and just keep driving,” Baili says. “I would have stopped if I hit a squirrel. I would have stopped if I hit anything. I would make sure they were OK.”
FHP responded, wrote up a crash report and closed their investigation after three days, telling Baili's father that there weren't any leads. But, Drew says they didn't even ask to see the bike.
“I know police have a tough job, but I want to say someone dropped the ball. Nothing was explained to me of what they did," he said.
He believes a camera at a Chervron gas station just down the road from where his daughter was hit may show the car that is responsible. That's because the camera picks up cars on North Courtenay Pkwy and the vehicle was most likely speeding away. Only Local 6 was there on Wednesday when FHP troopers visited the gas station. They wouldn't say why they were there, but the clerk confirmed it was for possible video in the hit-and-run, more than a week after the incident.
Drew Filliben says he just wants justice for whoever hurt his daughter. He says Baili will be in a wheelchair for awhile and has to be home-schooled the rest of the school year.
“Words cannot describe what I came up and saw. My daughter's legs were mangled in the middle of a highway and some coward took off,” he said.
FHP officials told Local 6 they closed the investigation because, at this point, they have no leads to follow. Kim Montes says the agency investigates between 20 to 25 crashes a day in Central Florida and unless they get any leads to find the vehicle or driver, the case is closed. She says that is standard procedure for all hit-and-run crashes.
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