CINCINNATI — One year after 15-year-old Gabriella "Gabby" Rodriguez was struck and killed while walking to school, the driver who fled the scene has still not been caught.
"It makes it more frustrating that the person's still out there," said Shawna Rodriguez, Gabby's mother. "We have so many questions. We don’t understand. We don’t have justice for our daughter."
Today marks the 1 year anniversary of the death of my beautiful daughter Gabriella Rodriguez. Her killer is still out there. Please say her name aloud today to remember her! Please continue to pray for us, for justice! #JUSTICEFORGABBY #DEVASTATED 💔😢😭— Shawna Rodriguez (@DaleJrFanatic) September 10, 2019
On September 10, 2018, Gabby was walking to catch her bus to school, when one driver struck her on Harrison Avenue and a second driver ran her over before fleeing the scene, according to police. First responders took Gabby to Cincinnati Children's Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.
"They ran her over like a g*ddamn animal," said Eduardo Rodriguez, Gabby's father. "That's what they did."
People who work near the intersection where Gabby was struck said Gabby's death is heartbreaking, but not surprising.
"It's just constant, people getting side-swiped, clipped," said business owner Mark Gable, who has worked at Gable Electric Company in North Fairmount near where Gabby was struck. "You're just afraid for your life here on Harrison Avenue."
And the data backs up Gable's concerns.
As previously reported by WCPO reporter Pat LaFleur, a 2016 WCPO analysis of data at the time showed two intersections on Harrison Avenue had some of the highest frequencies of crashes involving pedestrians .
Since Gabby's death though, city officials have taken notice of the crashes along this stretch of Harrison Avenue.
"Obviously now, this corridor has to be triaged in a sustainable way, but this is a whole-city issue," Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld said in December 2018 rally with parents outside of West High. "The reality is that one student, one kid getting hit by a car, one is too many."
Police are still looking for the driver of a white 2012-2015 Honda Civic they suspect struck Gabby and fled the scene.
Police ask anyone with information to call all the Cincinnati Police Department's Traffic unit at 513-352-2514.