A woman was talking on her mobile phone while driving when she stabbed and killed a 4-year-old girl at an elementary school playground in the south suburb of Harvey last September, police said Friday.
Swahela Vhora drove over the curb and through a fence, hit a swing and hit Violet Singleton on the afternoon of September 8 while she was playing outside Whittier Elementary School at 71 E. 152nd St., Deputy Sheriff Cameron Bidding’s said at a press conference.
Vhora was charged with reckless homicide this week, Biddings said. She was released from custody after her family posted $30,000 bail for her.
Witnesses told investigators that Vhora was talking on her phone while she was driving, Biddings said. The FBI was able to collect her cell phone records to pinpoint her exact location and confirm it was in use at the time of the crash.
“This tragedy didn’t have to happen,” Biddings said. “It is a terrible reminder of what can happen when people drive distracted. Violet Singleton shouldn’t be dead. “
Vhora was picking up one child from school shortly before the crash, and two other children were in her Hyundai Elantra when she collided with Violet, Detective Andrew Wallace said.
Vhora was initially arrested at the scene of the crash but was later released without charge as police were still investigating the situation and “investigation takes time,” Biddings said.
“We pray that this never happens to any other children in the city of Harvey or anywhere else,” Biddings said.
https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/driver-was-on-cellphone-when-she-fatally-struck-girl-at-harvey-school-playground-police/2749693/ Motorist Was Using Cell Phone When Girl Was Seriously Stuck At School Playground Harvey: Police – NBC Chicago