Thursday, January 26, 2023

Driver who injured teen arrested, faces felony charge

An Ypsilanti woman is facing a felony charge in the hit-and-run incident that critically injured a 15-year-old Westland girl.

Gianna Mariah Harris was arraigned on a felony count of failure to stop at the scene of a serious injury accident on Dec. 9 in Wayne County Circuit Court. A not guilty plea was entered on her behalf.  

The incident took place at about 6:45 a.m. Dec. 8 near Newburgh and Marquette. According to a witness statement, a truck had passed through a red light at the intersection when an SUV also drove through the red light. The witness, stopped at the light in the northbound lane, told police she heard a thud and then saw the child laying in the street. The witness said she attempted to help the girl as did the driver of a Wayne Westland district school bus who was stopped on Marquette.

The 15-year-old was identified as Aalyiah Rasheed-Wiley, a sophomore on her way to class at John Glenn High School. She was rushed to St. Mary Hospital in Livonia and later transferred to Children's Hospital in Detroit with traumatic brain injuries.

Police reports indicate that Harris' husband called police about 8 hours after the accident and said his wife admitted she had hit something on her way home. Police interviewed Harris at her Ypsilanti home where, according to police reports, she told police she was distracted by her daughter in the back seat and that she thought she might have hit a deer but continued her drive her 2011 Chevy Equinox to Ypsilanti with a shattered windshield. 

She did not stop at the scene of the accident. Michigan State Police analysis of data recovered from Harris' vehicle indicate there was a braking attempt a half second prior to the impact and that the vehicle was traveling at 47 m.p.h.

Harris posted bond and remains under house arrest wearing an electronic tether. Her next court date was not set at press time.  

At last report, the teen, who suffered traumatic brain injuries, is still being treated at Children's Hospital