Monday, April 8th, 2013
Girl critical after hit by pickup truck
6-year-old struck when crossing street
By Shelley Grieshop
ST. HENRY - A 6-year-old St. Henry girl remained in critical condition this morning at a Dayton hospital after being struck by a pickup truck Saturday afternoon.
Erica Sutter was riding a two-wheel scooter and attempting to cross the 500 block of East Main Street at 1:43 p.m. when she was struck by an eastbound 2011 Ford F350 pickup truck driven by Dennis Steinbrunner, 44, also of St. Henry.
Sutter, the youngest child of Stan and Jenny Sutter, was taken to Mercer County Community Hospital, Coldwater and then transferred by helicopter to Children's Medical Center, Dayton.
The kindergarten student was traveling north with two other girls - her 11-year-old sister and a 6-year-old neighbor - who made it safely across the street, according to St. Henry Police Chief Bob Garman. The chief noted there is no crosswalk at the location.
"We don't know yet why they crossed the street there. There's some things we're looking at," he said, adding he hopes to learn more after speaking with Sutter's older sister, Olivia.
Both 6-year-old girls were riding scooters; the older child was on foot, according to at least one witness at the scene. Garman said the girls had items in their hands that indicated they likely were returning from a visit to the St. Henry Dairy Dream along state Route 118.
No citations have been issued and the accident remains under investigation, Garman said.
"It's such an unfortunate situation," he added.
St. Henry schools superintendent Rod Moorman and elementary principal Sandy Stammen this morning said staff members and a guidance counselor will speak to the kindergarten classes today.
"We'll talk to them about what happened to Erica and about crossing streets safely ... we'll stay around in case they're crying or want to talk," Moorman said.
Similar discussions also are planned on Tuesday when Sutter and her classmates would normally be in attendance per the school's alternate kindergarten schedule, Stammen said.