Middlesex County News

Cranbury: Hit And Run Teen Victim’s Father Speaks Out, Search For Driver Continues

Mia Huang, 13, while at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital after being hit by a hit and run driver in Cranbury Wednesday. Credits: Huang family photo
Family members prepare to lay their pet dog, Panda, to rest after she died from being hit by a car with Mia Huang, 13, Wednesday night. Witnesses said the dog likely saved the teen's life. Credits: Huang family photo
One of the Huang family members places pebbles on the grave, spelling out the dog's name, Panda. Credits: Huang family photo
Credits: Charles W. Kim photos
Credits: Charles W. Kim photos

CRANBURY, NJ – The father of the 13-year-old girl hit by a car Wednesday evening while walking her dog is speaking out.

Andrew Huang, the father of 13-year-old Mia, sent several text messages and photos about the incident at the intersection of South Main Street and Evans Drive to family and friends, providing some details about his daughter’s condition and reaction to the loss of her pet dog, Panda.

“We are very, very lucky and Mia is already on the road to recovery,” he said in one of the texts. “Panda didn't make it though. (Panda) definitely protected Mia, as she took the brunt of the hit. She was a really special pup and will be sorely missed.”

Sign Up for E-News

According to Chief of Police Rickey Varga, Mia was crossing South Main Street with Panda around 6:18 p.m. when a light-colored SUV, believed to be a champagne or beige colored older model Ford Expedition with silver trim, hit her and the dog while they were in the crosswalk.

Varga said the SUV driver did not stop to render aid to the girl following the impact and fled the scene, heading north on Main Street.

Cranbury Police, Cranbury Volunteer Fire Company, and Cranbury First Aid Squad all responded to the scene, Mia was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with non-life threatening injuries, Varga said.

“She has a concussion, left lung contusion, road rash all over her body, hands, back, chest, legs, feet. Her back is in a lot of pain. No signs of internal bleeding and miraculously, no broken bones,” Her father’s text said. “She cannot move well but has sensation and can speak. She does not have any recollection of what happened and keeps asking for Panda.”

According to the texts, the parents did not tell Mia that Panda was killed in the incident until after she came home from the hospital on Friday.

“Had to break news about Panda. (Mia’s) heartbroken,” Her father said. “Now it is time to heal. She has to go through concussion protocol procedures. (She is) trying to stay positive and knows she's lucky to be alive.”

Andrew Huang said that bystanders hugged Panda and comforted the animal that likely saved Mia’s life as she passed away at the scene.

“A few neighbors stopped by and said Panda saved her life,” he said. “People were hugging Panda until she passed. So, this was very comforting.” 

He sent text photos of Mia while she was in the hospital and of the family burying Panda.

While this was happening, police continue actively searching for the driver involved in the incident, Varga said.

“It won't be easy, but we're determined to look under every rock,” Varga said on Wednesday. “We'd really like to find this person.”

Varga said vehicles matching this description that were seen in the vicinity of Route 130 or Plainsboro Road around this time are also of interest, as the driver may have headed in the direction of either as they fled the scene.

He also said there were several witnesses to the accident and the interviewing process is ongoing.

A message board is up at the scene of the crash, looking to obtain as much information from the public as possible.

“We are examining all physical evidence and witness accounts as we are actively following up to locate the driver who callously drove away without stopping,” Varga said in a message to residents Thursday. “Numerous witnesses were in the area; however, we are searching for all additional witnesses who may have seen something during this time frame. We will diligently pursue all leads as we are determined to apprehend the offender in this case.”

Andrew Huang’s texts also thanked friends and family for their support during this traumatic time.

“Thanks for all of your support, prayers and positive energy,” he said. “It really works.”

A police SUV monitored the intersection and crosswalk Thursday night around the same time as the incident the night before, possibly looking for the suspect vehicle to return.

The incident struck a chord in the quiet, historic village downtown, just off Route 130 in Middlesex County.

Unlike many of the surrounding towns, Cranbury and its 3,000 or so residents enjoy the benefits of being able to walk to the various businesses, services, and school, without needing a car to get around.

 Downtown eating establishments have outdoor seating just a few feet away from the main street and families are often seen strolling the sidewalks.

In recent years, the Township Committee invested thousands of dollars to redo the sidewalks and street lights along North Main Street to keep the pedestrian-friendly atmosphere of the community.

The last similar incident took place Sept. 5, 2015 when a “mechanical malfunction” caused an East Brunswick driver to hit a second vehicle at a North Main Street intersection and then continue into a group of people dining outside at Cranbury Pizza, injuring two juveniles.

Police ask anyone who may have been around the downtown village during the Wednesday night time frame, who may have seen the vehicle or may have any information to contact the Cranbury Township Police at (609) 395-0031.

Did you like this story?

Give us your feedback at ckim@tapinto.net or nwells@tapinto.net and click here to express your support for local news today.

If you did like it, please share with your friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter, and don't forget to "Like" our Facebook Page!

Download the TAPinto App!   Click here for Android - Click here for iOS .

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Trees Down, Hazards Abound

March 17, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - As climate change increases the risk to trees from severe storms, insects, diseases, drought and fire, a Rutgers University study highlights the need for improved safety in tree-care operations.

According to findings published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, workers employed by tree care experts and licensed arborists were more likely to receive ...

World Champion Somerville HS Scholastic World Winter Guard Team Hosts Competition

March 17, 2018

BRANCHBURG, NJ - It’s not every day you get to see world champions perform live.

On Saturday, April 7, the Somerville High School Music Boosters Association will host its 14th annual Indoor Color Guard show at Branchburg Central Middle School. More than 30 competing winter guard teams will attend, with a concluding performance by the world champion Somerville High School ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, March 21, 8:00 PM

Kidztopia, Matawan

Business Women Networking Event

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

Sat, March 24

Black Diamond Billiard's, Union

Ladies 9-Ball Pro-Am by the Garden State Pool Tour

U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Colemad Gets Failing Grade On School Safety Vote

March 17, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 16, 2018 – Despite her rhetoric, U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman, D-12, failed Wednesday to deliver on her promise to make schools safer for our children.

The two-term congressperson was one of only 10 representatives that voted “nay” Wednesday afternoon on the STOP School Violence Act of 2018.

The bill passed the U.S. House of Representatives on a ...

Bonnies, Gators Rematch During 2018 March Madness Round of 64 in Dallas

March 16, 2018

DALLAS – They say everything is bigger in Texas. In terms of what tonight’s game means for the St. Bonaventure Bonnies, this saying couldn’t be any truer.

Coming off Tuesday night’s 65-58 victory over UCLA, the Bonnies earned their first NCAA tournament win since 1970 and punched their ticket to Dallas.

With a loser-goes-home situation eminent, the Bonnies look to ...

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (Random House, 1965)


In Cold Blood is, quite simply, the grand-daddy of true crime writing, dubbed by Capote, himself, as the first non-fiction novel (although Norman Mailer argued the point when he published The Executioner's Song in 1979.) The conditions under which I read In Cold Blood for the first time were pretty weird, which was another ...

Ian Hockley Visits New Jersey to Introduce Program to Empower Youth

This week I am taking a departure from book reviewing to share an important program that has been introduced to New Jersey this week by Mr. Ian Hockley, founder of the Dylan's Wings of Change Foundation. On December 14, 2012, Hockley's five year old son, an autistic child named Dylan, was gunned down in his classroom in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Dylan, a shy and adorable ...