Harrison County

Family hoping for ‘miracle’ after 14-year-old seriously injured in hit and run in Pass Christian

Julia Usprich, 14, was seriously injured when a hit-and-run driver hit her as she attempted to cross U.S. 90 in Pass Christian on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018.
Julia Usprich, 14, was seriously injured when a hit-and-run driver hit her as she attempted to cross U.S. 90 in Pass Christian on Friday, Dec. 7, 2018. Courtesy of Jeana Weiss

A 14-year-old Pass Christian girl has been in surgery off and on since a hit-and-run driver hit her as she walked across U.S. 90.

Julia Usprich’s family said the impact cracked the girl’s skull, broke her legs, bruised her lungs and caused other injuries.

As a result, her great aunt, Jeana Weiss, said doctors first had to operate shortly after the accident Friday night to help reduce swelling in the girl’s brain.

She’s had other surgeries since then, with more ahead of her.

“I cannot thank everybody enough for their prayers and what they are doing to help,” Weiss said Monday. “I’m just really believing God will grant us a miracle.”

Usprich, a twin and freshman in the band at Pass Christian High School, had been at Christmas in the Pass with friends when the car hit her around 6 p.m. Friday, Police Chief Tim Hendricks said.

A Harrison County deputy arrested the driver, David Hernandez, 33, shortly afterward.

Hernandez, a Honduran national and who entered the U.S. without documentation, has been living in Gulfport, police said. He’s being held on a felony charge of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries.

U.S. Immigration and Customs has also placed a hold on him.

Since the incident, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the girl’s family with medical expenses.

Usprich was first taken to Memorial Hospital at Gulfport for treatment, then airlifted to an Alabama trauma center.

“We just keep asking for prayers,” Weiss said.

Pass Christian police are asking anyone with information to call them at 228-452-3301 or Mississippi Coast Crime Stoppers at 877-787-5898.

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