The accident was caught on multiple security cameras. It happened in the middle of a residential street around 5 p.m. on Tuesday.
7-year-old Evelyn Lopez was walking with her mother on the sidewalk when she darted into the street.
Relatives say she was trying to get to the other side of the street, in front of her own apartment complex, because her brothers and sisters were there.
According to police, a driver in a dark-colored SUV hit the girl, and then dragged her 30 to 40 feet before fleeing the scene.
“We don’t know if the driver is male or female,” said Cpl. Anthony Bertagna. “We believe it’s a black Toyota 4Runner, and we’re hoping people will come forward.”
Meantime, relatives are waiting for word from the hospital, where Evelyn is recovering from surgery to relieve swelling in her brain.
She is listed in stable condition, and although her injuries are serious, she is expected to survive.
“I don’t know what to say right now. It’s pretty crazy what happened,” her cousin, Edward Rivas, said.
“We’re just waiting to hear news about her. We all care and we want to know what’s gonna happen to her,” he said.
In the video, you can clearly see the driver brake hard when he or she hits the girl, then brake again 40 feet later when she’s thrown free.
“That tells me that this individual more than likely knew that he hit something and he fled the scene,” Bertagna said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Santa Ana police.