13-Year-Old With Down Syndrome Killed by Hit-Run Driver

The girl was hit shortly after midnight as she crossed the Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome early Sunday on Long Island. Michael George reports. (Published Sunday, Jun 15, 2014)

    Police are searching for a hit-and-run driver who struck and killed a 13-year-old girl with Down syndrome on Long Island early Sunday.

    Bryanna Soplin was hit shortly after midnight as she crossed the Hempstead Turnpike in Levittown, the Nassau County Police Department said. She was taken to the hospital with head and body trauma, and died about four hours later.

    Her mother, Jennifer Curuchaga, said she said goodnight to Soplin and went to sleep but that the 13-year-old left home and started to walk to visit her grandfather. 

    Curuchaga said Soplin had never wandered off before.

    "My daughter was such a happy little girl," she said.

    Bryanna’s family wants the driver to step forward.

    "You were there, and you did this,” said Curuchaga. “Please come up and say it. I'm no one to judge you. But I need to know who did this to my baby."

    Police said the driver was last seen headed north on the Seaford Oyster Bay Expressway in a blue 2011-2013 Chrysler Town and Country minivan.

    Anyone with information about the driver is asked to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS.

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