FAIRFIELD, Ohio -- The driver who hit 10-year-old Mahayla Lester on Sunday evening, breaking her leg and fracturing her skull so severely her brain bled, never stopped.
Her 13-year-old brother narrowly missed the impact, then watched as his sister's body was flipped over the top of the car and thrown into the gutter on the side of Southgate Boulevard.
He watched the white sports car that struck her drive away, blue tail lights shining.
The siblings were only 500 feet from their home.
"It's horrible because they are kids," Officer Doug Day said Thursday. "They don't know better. All they were doing was crossing the street."
Lester survived, although she remained in critical condition at Cincinnati Children's hospital as of Thursday night. Her brother, Day said, was uninjured but deeply distraught.
"He shouldn't (feel guilty), but try telling him that," Day said. "You saw your kid sister thrown over a car."
He isn't the only one struggling, Fairfield West Elementary principal Missy Muller said. While Lester is in the hospital, her fifth-grade classmates are making her stacks of get-well cards and having serious conversations about what happened -- both how to process it and how to behave responsibly if they ever find themselves in a similar situation.
"The kids miss her; they want her back," Muller said. "They are hoping somebody will call if they saw something, or at least this person will come forward and admit what they did."
According to police, Lester's brother described the car that hit her a a white sports car with dark tinted windows and blue lights on the back end. Day said he hoped the distinct description would help draw potential tipsters and witnesses into the light -- and the story might inspire the driver to turn him- or herself in to police.
"Maybe the person didn't know they hit a person," he said. "Maybe they thought they hit an animal. We don't know, and that's what we are hoping -- maybe this was just a mistake.
"Please come in. We just want to talk."
Muller and a group of Lester's classmates planned to visit her over the weekend and let her know they're thinking about her, she said.
"She's just a girl that is really sweet, never mean to anybody, never in conflict with anybody," Muller said. "She is just a genuine, sweet girl."