Police & Fire

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

3532b25a460cff07ded8_3678ff76b163a7aa225a_25797.jpeg
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
84b5c06c6cd06d3ce2fb_a24577cf69fc4d4ae666_25798.jpeg
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
3fb5b543c4c9f42c8093_f1f95ea9b50e15d741cd_25801.jpeg
One of the Huang family members places pebbles on the grave, spelling out the dog's name, Panda. Credits: Huang family photo
d514cddd3ab5efe6cc6c_20170511_180911.jpg
Credits: Charles W. Kim photos
c1d33302ca5c5861a708_20170511_180925.jpg
Credits: Charles W. Kim photos
3532b25a460cff07ded8_3678ff76b163a7aa225a_25797.jpeg

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

New Brunswick

The Jaffe Briefing - June 15, 2018

JERSEY CITY - Should topless women be allowed in the city?  That's the big issue consuming the City Council these days, as members continue to debate 1980s-era obscenity laws. There was supposed to be a vote at the council meeting on Wednesday, but it didn't happen. Before there is a vote, it appears the goal is to wrangle support of all nine members of the City Council. The nagging ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 14, 2018

EAST RUTHERFORD - The typical sports fan in New Jersey has until 2026 to get excited about professional soccer. That's because the Meadowlands could be the epicenter of the soccer world, a contender to host the World Cup. It could be  an amazing coup for New Jersey, although expect worldwide marketers to try to convince everyone that the big game would be played in "New ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 13, 2018

ATLANTIC CITY - When the Hard Rock Café and Casino opens June 28, a strip club will also open on the property. But this isn't your typical, dark titty bar. No, it is 36,000 square feet of space, about the size of a typical Marshalls. So, figure the place is wall-to-wall strippers, each jiggling for money. That could equal about 300 jiggles per minute on a ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 12, 2018

STATEWIDE - Perhaps it is time for the state to upgrade to Windows 95, as the second big computer crash in a week spelled disaster for the state's computer systems. The biggest hit came to the state's Motor Vehicle agencies, jamming efforts to renew driver's licenses, or for people to get titles or register vehicles. This mess somehow made the lines at the MVC even longer, the ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 11, 2018

MANTUA - Ever hear of the Wenonah Police Department? Neither did we, but it doesn't really matter because it no longer exists. At 12:01 a.m. on June 1, the department officially disbanded, with the 2,200 residents of this speck of a town in Gloucester County now being protected and served by the Mantua Police Department - other cops we've never heard about. It was high time for the ...

The Jaffe Briefing - June 7, 2018

ON THE CAMPAIGN TRAIL - Consider it a wake-up call for Political Action Committees that don't file paperwork. The state's campaign financial watchdogs have slapped the "Central Jersey Democratic Leadership Committee" with more than $120,000 in fines for not reporting more than $100,000 in donations between 2005-2010. Left holding the bag for the non-defunct PAC is Union ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_b461bcb5f4e452996ec4_juneteenth_poster

Tue, June 19, 6:30 PM

Mt Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church, New Brunswick

Juneteenth - a Day of Remembrance

Arts & Entertainment

Thu, June 21, 8:00 PM

New Brunswick

Sing-a-Long Grease: 40th Anniversary

Rutgers-led “Tick Blitz” finds exotic Longhorned Ticks statewide

June 5, 2018

New Brunswick, N.J. - Researchers at  University–New Brunswick’s Rutgers Center for Vector Biology have found exotic longhorned ticks in four New Jersey counties – and confirmed that these northeast Asian ticks have been present in the Garden State since at least 2013.

The new detection of these ticks in Mercer County was made through the first-ever statewide ...

Rutgers football stadium has a new name

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Many still call it Rutgers Stadium.

But for seven years, the university's football stadium has been known as High Point Solutions Stadium, thanks to a $600,000 annual agreement with a Sparta-based company. But, as the company has shifted its marketing, so has the stadium's name.

So, now, Rutgers is officially home to "HighPoint.com Stadium" for the 2018 ...

Composer lyrisicist Sondheim at Rutgers, tells would-be writers ‘it’s hard work’

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Acclaimed Broadway composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim says his work is less about talent and more about the labor and drudgery of “hard work.”

“It’s not about waiting for inspiration. It’s not about talent,” Sondheim said Friday while speaking before an audience at Rutgers University’s Nicholas Music Center.

“You ...

Couple netted $8M from fake Uggs, designer bags, prosecutor says

June 15, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - A Plainsboro couple could face charges of of selling counterfeit designer shoes and handbags, netting $8 million and sending $3 million to people in China, authorities said today.

Yan Shi, 36, and her husband, Weiping Liu, 40, were arrested Thursday and charged with first-degree money laundering and second-degree conspiracy to violate the New Jersey Trademark ...

OPINION

Hearing Loss Common in School-Aged Children

May 30, 2018

With close to 15% of U.S. children ages 6–19 experiencing hearing loss, New Jersey Speech-Language-Hearing Association (NJSHA) notes that May Is Better Hearing & Speech Month is the ideal time for parents to learn more about the sometimes-subtle signs of hearing loss, ways it can affect school-aged children, and where to find help.

“Some children are born ...

Promise Culinary School Slates Open Houses June 21 and 22 In New Brunswick with Tours, Tastings, Prizes

June 15, 2018

Promise Culinary School will host open houses for the community and prospective students on Thursday, June 21, from noon to 3 p.m. and 5  to 7:30 p.m., and on Friday, June 22, from noon to 4 p.m. at 211 Livingston Ave., New Brunswick. The events are free and open to the public.

The events will include kitchen tours, demonstrations, tastings, raffles and prizes. Tours and activities ...

Ensure Safe Sleep While Traveling with Baby

June 6, 2018

As we approach the summer, there will be plenty of expected travel for families, from visiting grandma at the beach to heading out on a long, well-deserved vacation. 

When staying overnight at a friend’s or family’s place, it is important to maintain the same sleep practices as you do at home. Your baby should be sleeping in a safe, modern crib that meets the latest ...