Girl killed in Raleigh hit-and-run had just turned 12 on Thanksgiving, aunt says

Police are looking for the driver of a car that hit and killed a girl crossing the road in West Raleigh on Friday evening and then drove off.

Police say the white Hyundai hit the girl as she was attempting to cross Hillsborough Street near Bashford Road at about 7:33 p.m. The driver was going eastbound on Hillsborough and drove off after hitting the girl.

Police say the girl died after being taken to a hospital.

Police said they will not release the girl’s name, but she was Samantha Briggs of Raleigh, according to her aunt, Charise Swinnie. Samantha just turned 12 on Thanksgiving, Swinnie said, and was visiting her on Friday when she was hit.

Swinnie said Samantha and four other relatives were returning to her house from the Sheetz convenience store on Chapel Hill Road shortly after 7 p.m. Friday. Two had made it across when Samantha was hit, she said.

“The car just came out of nowhere,” she said Monday, as she tried to secure a small memorial of flowers, balloons and a teddy bear on the spot where Samantha came to rest. “The car came flying and hit her. She went up in the air.”

Swinnie said she heard the impact from her home nearby and came running.

“This is a tragedy,” she said. “My girls are tore up. This was their cousin and best friend.”

The speed limit along that stretch of Hillsborough is 45 mph. The road is three lanes wide, with two travel lanes and a center turn lane, and there are no crosswalks or streetlights in the area.

Police say the car might have been a 2006, 2007 or 2008 hybrid. Officers determined the car’s color and potential model from “evidence left at the scene,” said Raleigh police spokesman Lt. Jason Borneo.

Police ask anyone who believes they may have information that might help their hit-and-run investigation to visit Crimestoppers at for text and email reporting options or call 919-996-1193.