CRANBURY, NJ – Police presented the Huang family with a new puppy after their dog, Panda, was killed and teenage daughter Mia injured when an SUV hit them while crossing Main Street on May 10.
“It was a very sad day here in Cranbury,” Sgt. Gregory Pfremmer said in a video of the presentation filmed by father Andrew Huang. “We are so happy that we are going to bring some joy to the family here in town.”
According to police, Mia was walking Panda at the Main Street and Evans Drive crosswalk around 6:18 p.m. when they were struck by a suspected 2008 or 2009 champagne Ford Expedition, possibly with silver trim.
The driver did not stop to render aid to the girl and fled the scene, heading north on Main Street, Chief of Police Rickey Varga said at the time.
Cranbury Police, Cranbury Volunteer Fire Company, and Cranbury First Aid Squad all responded to the scene and Mia was transported to Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick with non-life-threatening injuries.
Andrew Huang said his daughter, Mia, 13, suffered a concussion, left lung contusion and road rash over most of her body in the accident. Her back is also very painful and she could not move well shortly after the incident, he said at the time.
Panda, however, did not survive the impact.
According to Huang, Panda likely saved Mia's life by absorbing most of the impact. Bystanders hugged the dog and comforted her until she passed away at the scene, he said.
The heartbreaking event led Cranbury officers and Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 68 to buy a new puppy for the family, which they delivered June 26, police said.
“We, officers of the Cranbury F.O.P. Lodge #68 and the Cranbury Police Department are very proud to be a part of providing the young lady with a new puppy,” Officer Michael Cipriano said.
Andrew Huang filmed the entire presentation and the joy expressed by the family when officers brought the puppy to the house.
In the video, Mia thanked the community for the good wishes as she recovers from her injuries in the incident.
“Thank you, Cranbury Police Department, for this amazing present,” Mia said in the video. “Thank you to the whole community for all your support.”
Andrew Huang also thanked the community for supporting his family during this incident, and said that the driver that hit Mia and Panda is still at large.
“The driver is still out there,” he said. “Please speak up, someone knows who this guy is.”
"We are continuing our efforts to apprehend the person responsible for this crash. We have and will continue to use all resources at our disposal, and we have made significant progress with the investigation," Chief Varga said in an email Saturday.."Our resolve to bring this case to closure is unwavering. In the meantime we hope we have brought some joy and healing to the Huang family."
The family and law enforcement are offering a reward through the Middlesex County Crime Stoppers Program for information leading to the driver’s arrest, according to officials.
The phone number is: 1-800-939-9600. The website is: middlesextips.com. Text messages may be sent to 274637 (CRIMES) with the keyword ‘’midtip’’ followed by a message.
Those who call will be given instructions on how to collect cash rewards by using a numerical code that will be recognized by a local bank, which will pay the rewards following approval by Crime Stoppers of Middlesex County Inc.
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