Community rallies around hit-and-run victims

Anjuli Davis reports

- Asucena Torres hardly recognized her goddaughter Esmerelda and the little girl's mom, Consuelo Cristanos, in their hospital beds.

"When you see things like this, you really don't believe it. You see things on TV and you never think it's going to happen to you," Torres said.

The two were hit by a car Tuesday morning while walking to the 2nd grader's bus stop. But aside from broken bones and bruising, Torres says they're making miracle recoveries.

"They're alive. That's the best thing. They're alive and we're going to make it through this, we're all going to make it," she said.

Now, friends and city leaders are pushing for safer road conditions for the kids that make the same trek on Weiberg Road every morning and night.  Polk County road managers confirm they'll conduct a traffic study on the area to see if sidewalks or street lights are necessary.

Dundee leaders are pushing for it.

"Anything that would prevent another accident like this from occurring, we would love to see that happen," Dundee Town Manager Ryan Taylor said Wednesday.

In the meantime, the Polk County community is joining hands to help out the family by placing donation jars in businesses and even Town Hall to help out.

"We are a small community, everyone knows one another. When something like this happens in our community it is a testament to the residents of this community to uplift one of our neighbors," Taylor said.

While Esmerelda and her mom recover in the hospital, her godmother is packing the family's possession from their home where they're being evicted. She says every little bit from the community helps.

"Y'all don't know how much it means to be able to tell her that she can take some time off of work and not worry about your rent or what your children are going to eat or anything," Torres said. 

A representative from the Polk County School District said they looked at the location of the bus stop on Weiberg Road. They say it meets state regulations. No word yet on a timeline for when the county traffic study will begin.

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