Hit-and-Run Driver Who Injured 9-Year-Old Turns Self in – Again: Police

Woman went to police to turn herself in Monday, but was turned away and told to come back after the President’s Day holiday

The driver who struck a 9-year-old girl in West Philadelphia and fled the scene last week went to turn herself in to authorities Monday.  The only problem was that the District Attorney’s Office was closed for the President’s Day holiday.

She was told to come back another time.

Safiyah Bankhead, 32, went to turn herself in again on Tuesday. She went back to Accident Investigation Division of the Philadelphia Police Department at about 12:30 p.m.

Bankhead surrendered to authorities for allegedly hitting 9-year-old Aijahnae Johnson, who was riding her bike near her home on the 4000 block of Merion Avenue in West Philadelphia last Tuesday. As the little girl tried to cross the street, she was struck by the woman’s car, which quickly left the scene, police say.

The hit-and-run was captured on surveillance video.

When Bankhead tried to turn herself in on Monday, she covered her face from cameras and her attorney spoke for her.

“She’s extremely upset and she’s extremely remorseful about what happened,” attorney Michael Giampietro told NBC10. “She saw the little girl on the bike. She braked and steered to the left to avoid any contact. The child appears to have hopped off the bike and there was contact.”

Miraculously, Aijahnae was not seriously injured. She had some cuts and bruises on her body and forehead, but none were life-threatening.

"I'd just like to say thank you for doing the right thing,” Aijahnae’s mother Patrina Newman told NBC10.  “She should have turned herself in cause she hit a kid.  She should have stopped."

“I just want to see justice done.  You can't run over kids,” Newman said.

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