A 10-year-old Manteca girl was reportedly in serious condition after being run down by a motorist who witnesses said failed to stop for the girl and her older male cousin as they used a crosswalk in the 700 block of East Yosemite Avenue at 6:20 p.m. Tuesday.
Manteca Police Sgt. Mike Aguilar said the pair was riding their bicycles toward a car wash on the corner and on to their home when the girl was hit and knocked off of her bike. Aguilar said the girl actually got to her feet until she realized the seriousness of her foot injury. Bleeding, she collapsed on the sidewalk. Due to the injury to her foot, it was believed that the truck had actually run over the foot before it drove off.
Several people witnessed the girl being struck and one motorist followed the fleeing blue truck westbound on Yosemite Avenue, calling 911 as he kept the vehicle in sight. Having made contact with a police dispatcher, he reportedly lost sight of the truck in the downtown area. Officer Dave Brown and Sgt. Mike Aguilar intercepted the suspect motorist on West Yosemite Avenue near Union Road.
Aguilar said the driver Andrey Gubanov, 29, of Manteca did not have a valid driver’s license to operate the vehicle and indicated he knew he had struck the girl. The truck reportedly had a metal gouge on the lip of the hood and scrape marks down the driver’s side from the front panel to past the left front door.
On his arrival on the scene Manteca District Ambulance Supervisor John Andrews immediately requested an air ambulance out of Stockton Metropolitan Airport to transport the girl to the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. However it was unavailable. He learned that Merced’s Mercy Hospital helicopter was in Modesto and it responded within some 15 minutes to Manteca.
A landing zone was set up on the large lawn area in front of Calvary Community Church on Lathrop Road. A Manteca Ambulance unit took the girl to that site to await the arrival of the helicopter. The wait was only a matter of minutes.
Firefighters set up a safe landing area encircling the site to keep people in the area away from the landing chopper. Andrews transported the girl’s mother from the accident scene to the landing site so she could see her daughter in the parked ambulance before being transported to the helicopter.
As fire units and ambulance personnel had pulled up to the church, a group waiting for a Wednesday night prayer service to begin stood outside the front door of the building. Learning of the seriousness of the little girl’s condition, they formed a large prayer circle on the lawn as the helicopter took off over their heads headed for the Sacramento hospital.
The older male cousin, who had been with the girl, was reportedly uninjured.
Gubanov was charged with felony hit and run and driving without a valid license. He was transported to the San Joaquin County Jail in French Camp where he is awaiting a court date. The amount of his bail was unavailable at press time.