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Iowa girl Ema Cardenas killed in hit-and-run days before her quinceañera


An Iowa girl was killed in a hit-and-run crash on her walk home from school just days before her quinceañera, reports said.

Freshman Ema Cardenas, 14, was walking home from Des Moines East High School on Thursday when an SUV slammed into her – then fled from the scene and left the teen mortally wounded in the roadway, the Des Moines Register reported.

Driver Terra Jean Flipping, 38, was arrested Friday after cops found the SUV less than a mile from the crash, People.com reported. Flipping allegedly had pulled over, gotten out and observed the carnage before driving away, the website stated, citing police.

Cardenas had been set to celebrate her rite-of-passage 15th birthday celebration this month, where the teenager was going to wear a dress made by her mother. The girl will instead be buried in the dress.

“She was so excited. Emerald green and gold, which are her favorite colors,” grieving mom Anna Campos told TV station KCCI.

“Now I have to tell those family members that instead of giving invitations to her party, I have to give invitations to her funeral.”

Terra Jean Flipping mugshot.
Terra Jean Flipping was arrested the day after the fatal crash.
Des Moines Police Department

The mother now just wants to speak with the women accused in the fatal crash.

“I want to forgive her,” Campos said. “I just want answers. Like, how can she… what was her state of mind leaving somebody just there on the side of the road?”



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