MacArthur H.S. student struck, killed by pickup truck in north Harris County

By Courtney Gilmore - Anchor/Reporter, Nakia Cooper - Senior Web Editor, Andy Cerota - Anchor/Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - A MacArthur High School student was killed Friday morning after being struck by a pickup truck in northwest Harris County, according to Aldine ISD officials.

The accident happened in the 2200 block of Bertrand Street near Ruby Rose.

According to Harris County sheriff's deputies, Vanessa Garcia, 18, was walking from her home to the bus stop when she was struck by a 2007 Nissan Titan.

Deputies say Garcia was walking westbound in the eastbound lanes, just a short distance away from her front door. Two vehicles were also traveling westbound when the driver of the pickup decided to switch lanes.

"When the faster vehicle went to pass the slower vehicle, as he changed lanes, there she was right in front of him," said Officer P. Lillibridge, Harris County Sheriff's Office. "He didn't have time to brake to try to avoid the crash or anything."

A neighbor heard the crash and his wife ran over to talk to another neighbor across the street, who happened to be the girl's mother.

"She told my wife that she felt something inside that something happened with her daughter. That she goes to school early in the morning," the man said. "It wasn't until she called the school to check and see if her daughter made it that she found out. When they told her she didn't make it, she knew it was her daughter."

Officers are still trying to determine if speed was a factor, but they did say it was dark outside when the accident happened and the teen was not easily seen.

"There are not very many street lamps in the roadway. Also she was wearing black pants, a black coat and a black hat," Officer Lillibridge said.

The victim lived with her mother, father and brother.

Garcia's classmates are heartbroken.

"It's been really sad. I've seen girls crying on the stairs saying like how much they miss their best friend. It's heartbreaking. Imagining your life without your friend, someone you've known for so long and then they are just gone." said Ingris Pereira.

Garcia had big plans. She wanted to finish high school, go to college and become a police officer.

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