Essex girl, 14, hit by car dies from injuries

Accident may be related to earlier alleged assault against teen, police say

September 12, 2004|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A 14-year-old Essex girl died yesterday from injuries suffered last week when she was hit by a car on Eastern Avenue, an accident that witnesses said may have been related to an earlier alleged assault, police said.

Krystal Helen Dunevant of the 100 block of Eastern Blvd. stepped into the path of an eastbound Honda Accord on Eastern Avenue near Goeller Avenue about 2:45 p.m. Wednesday and was hit, police said.

The girl, a freshman at Chesapeake High School, was declared brain dead Thursday and was kept on life support at Johns Hopkins Hospital until yesterday, according her aunt, Debra Dunevant.

The Honda's driver was not charged, and it appeared that pedestrian error was the cause of the accident, said Officer Shawn Vinson, a county police spokesman.

Dunevant's brother and cousin, both 15, told police they and the girl were attacked by six or seven boys who were waiting for them when they got off the school bus at Riverside Road and Virginia Avenue, Vinson said. They told police all three of them were hit with a bottle and repeatedly kicked.

They ran home after the attack, but they then spotted one of the suspects, police said.

When she was hit by the car, Dunevant apparently was running after her brother and cousin, who were chasing one of the boys they said had attacked them, police said.

Debra Dunevant, who said she had been raising Krystal, described her niece as "a happy-go-lucky little girl."

She said police should have taken action to prevent the fight.

Police records show that officers were called twice Monday to the Dunevant residence. One call was from a woman who said someone was harassing her son at his job.

Debra Dunevant said police told her they had no grounds to intervene. A boy "threatened my son and that's the kind of help I got. ... It would've taken someone five minutes to go talk to that boy," she said.

Vinson said police are investigating the assault and whether Monday's calls are related. But, Vinson said, "If someone is threatening with no real means to carry it out - just a verbal threat - there is no crime."

Police have identified two juveniles as suspects in the assault, but no charges have been filed, Vinson said.

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