ST. LOUIS (KMOV.com) – A 12-year-old girl was hit by a St. Louis County officer in a squad car near the North City-North County line Monday evening.
The accident happened around 5:50 p.m. in the 8900 block of Halls Ferry. According to police, the squad car, which was being driven by a 25-year-old male officer, was heading south on Halls Ferry when the officer saw a suspicious person and vehicle at a gas station.
The officer reportedly tried to make contact, but the person fled and wouldn't stop. A check of the license plates showed they were not registered to that vehicle.
The officer pursued the vehicle, but had not activated his lights and sirens.
Before the officer could stop the speeding car, the girl, later identified as Akeelah Jackson, ran into the street and was hit by the squad car, according to police.
St. Louis County police officials say the officer was traveling 59 miles per hour, which is 29 miles per hour over the posted speed limit.
"I never seen nothing like that before, I was just like scared, I was just like 'Wow," said a 16-year-old witness.
The witness told News 4 that Jackson looked up at the squad car and had no time to react.
"The car hit her and she flew in the air and came back down," said the witness.
Jackson is a student at Carr Lane VPA Middle School and is in the 7th grade.
The girl was taken to the hospital and listed in critical, unstable condition. She underwent surgery and is recovering.
After hitting the girl, police said the officer stopped, reported the incident and is cooperating with the St. Louis Police Department.
There was no video of the incident. Accident reconstruction is handling the ongoing investigation.
**Editor's Note: Family members originally told News 4 the child was 14 years old. Family and police later confirmed the girl is actually 12 years old.