Family holds vigil, seeks justice for 12-year-old girl killed in Raleigh hit-and-run

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Tuesday, November 29, 2022
Family remembers young girl killed in hit and run
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Samantha Briggs had just celebrated her 12th birthday a day earlier when she was struck and killed by a driver who fled the scene.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A deadly hit-and-run in Raleigh has left a family grieving the loss of a 12-year-old girl.

The crash happened Friday and took the life of Samantha Briggs.

She was a dancer with the Helping Hand Mission.

She was struck and killed at Hillsborough Street near Bashford Road on Friday, one day after her 12th birthday.

Her family is hoping someone comes forward and identifies the driver who left the scene after hitting Samantha.

Monday, the family held a vigil and balloon release on Hillsborough Street.

Their message is simple and clear: "Turn yourself in." They know this will not bring Samantha back, but it is their first step in their journey for justice.

"This is so unbelievable. It's like a dream they, I cannot wake up from," said Samantha's aunt, Charise Swinnie. Swinnie was visiting with family at Samantha's home when the crash happened.

Police said Samantha was not in a crosswalk but there is no crosswalk on that stretch of Hillsborough Street. There's also no sidewalk at the site of the crash.

"It hit her so hard it knocked her out of her shoes," Swinnie said.

Swinnie said the young girl was on her way back from the Sheetz gas station when she was struck. Police say the driver left the scene and they're now looking for the suspect who police said was possibly driving a white Hyundai hybrid car, likely a 2006 to 2008 model.

"She was with cousins friends and crossing the street. And it struck her; it could have been all of them," Swinnie said. "The car was just going absolutely too fast. We need justice, again it is not going to ease the pain for no one, but it will give us justice."

Pleas for justice were echoed by more of Samantha's family during the vigil. Her older sister Dakisha Holmes also shared a message of forgiveness.

"I don't hate you at all, but we just want justice," Dakisha said. "I just want the driver off the road because if he could do it to one child, he could do it to another."

Through their loss, the family is also celebrating Samantha's life. Dakisha said her little sister touched a lot of people at only 12 years old.

"She was very caring. She loved those that cared about her and she definitely gave that to anybody that gives to her," she said.

People who live and work in the area said it's not uncommon for children to cross that intersection to go to Sheetz or a nearby McDonald's.

The family said there were pieces of the car left behind at the scene, so there is likely some visible damage to the vehicle involved in the hit-and-run.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call Raleigh Police, visit Crimestoppers for text and email reporting options or call (919) 996-1193. Raleigh CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for anonymous tips that help solve cases.