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8-year-old Jayla Shubber dies after she is hit by car while trying to cross busy street

10:58 AM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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TAMPA, Florida -- An 8-year-old Tampa girl died during surgery after she was hit by a car while trying to dart across six lanes of traffic. 

Police say Jayla Shubber was trying to get home from a nearby convenience store.

The accident happened shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday along the very busy roadway of East Busch Boulevard and North 14th Street, which is in the Sulpher Springs community. 

Ethel Englehardt and her husband Keith say they've seen a lot from their front porch over the past 44 years. They say their hearts go out to little Jayla and her 12-year-old sister, who was with her when it happened.

"We hear people going up and down this street all the time, going to that store, 'cause they're open 24 hours," says Ethel.

Lt. Calvin Johnson from the Tampa Police Department says, "They crossed two lanes, the vehicle stopped for them. But in that third lane, the vehicle didn't see them crossing the street and went through and hit her."

Jayla was rushed to Tampa General Hospital in critical condition, and was later pronounced dead during emergency surgery. Police say there are no charges pending at this time.

On Sunday 10 News observed people of all ages going around two fences and some railroad tracks to cross Busch Boulevard in the middle of the street. There are no crosswalks nearby, although neighbors say there was once a walk light at the corner.

Ethel says, "It's just not a place to be crossing. If they were at a corner, it would be different."

Neighbors want the fencing in the area to remain without any gaps, but admit people have cut the fencing before. They'd also like crosswalks at the nearest corner. 

Lt. Johnson adds, "Kids ... can't really gauge the speed of traffic, so you know they may think it's a hundred yards away, but it may be only a hundred feet away."

At least one neighbor is calling for action immediately. He has already sent an email to the Mayor of Tampa about the stretch of roadway.

Tammie Fields, 10 News

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