DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - Family and friends gathered less than 12 hours after learning of the deadly hit and run which claimed the life of a 4-year-old girl in DeKalb County.
DeKalb County Police said Lun Thang, 4, was struck by a vehicle in the 700 block of North Indian Creek Drive, across the street from Indian Creek Elementary School.
Family members said Lun Thang's aunt was walking the 4-year-old and her 6-year-old sister to school when Thang was hit in the crosswalk around 6:45 a.m. Police said the child went airborne, and then hit another vehicle. She was rushed to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta at Egleston where she later died.
Neither Lun's aunt nor her sister were injured.
"My daughter is hit and thrown maybe a hundred feet," says Zam Thang, victim's father.
The sisters were holding hands and as their aunt shepherded them across the street, her hands on their heads as they crossed the street. That’s when a dark sedan traveling northbound struck Lun sending her airborne, her body landing on a yellow PT Cruiser, whose driver remained at the scene.
Police said after hitting the child, the driver of the sedan lost control, stopped temporarily, but then sped away from the scene. The driver never got out of the car.
"The sedan lost control and stopped momentarily but then left the scene. We are assuming the driver did know they had hit someone," said Shiera Campbell, DeKalb County Police Department.
The vehicle is described as a dark-colored older model sedan, possibly a Toyota or a Honda. The car likely has front-end damage, including a broken headlight.
Lun was a Pre-K student at Indian Creek Elementary School. School officials have offered grief counseling and support to students and staff.
Family members say she was a smart, happy girl who loved helping others.
"She likes to sing songs; she would be in the future like a doctor she would be happy," said Thang.
Members of the family's church now doing what they can for Lun's parents.
"The family right now they were a very happy family right now but suddenly this morning this happening. The mom still crying, so we need to pray for family," said Deacon Pau Kap, Christ Mission Church.
As the sun set on Wednesday, several dozen people gathered in front the family’s apartment to remember and pray for Little Lun. Her mother inconsolable as the crowd lit candles.
Lun’s family are refugees from Burma. They are getting help from others who are calling for justice for the family and little Lun.
"That's what the family is asking for to turn yourself in. You have taken an innocent child's life. Just turn yourself in,"' said Crystal Rowland, the next door neighbor of the Thang family.
DeKalb County Police said they are searching for surveillance video in the area near the hit and run incident to help track down the driver.
Investigators are asking body shops across Georgia to keep a close eye out for a dark sedan with front-end damage and report it to them immediately.
They are also asking the public to call 911 if they see a vehicle matching the description of the car.
Police said once taken into custody, the driver could face homicide as well as other charges stemming from the hit and run.