Girl injured in 108 accident

November 21, 2002 12:00 am

By AMY LINDBLOM

A Curtis Creek seventh-grader was critically injured Wednesday evening when she ran into traffic on Highway 108 and was struck by a van.

Angel Engle, 13, was taken by helicopter to Sutter Roseville Hospital in Roseville with major head and body injuries.

The van, driven by a Bay Area man, was heading west on 108 when the accident happened about 5 p.m.

"I just wanted to let the driver know he didn't do anything wrong and the doctors say she is critically injured, but no spinal injuries, and she is going to be OK," said Michelle Engle, Angel's mother, from her Roseville hotel room early this morning.

Engle, said her daughter will have surgery today so doctors can put pins in her broken legs and remove her spleen. Angel also suffered bruised lungs, a broken right arm and a concussion, her mother said.

California Highway Patrol investigators said Angel and some friends were standing along the south side of Highway 108 at Serrano Road, waiting to cross.

A witness, stopped on Serrano Road to turn left onto Highway 108, told officers she saw a group of kids standing next to a pickup. She saw one girl dart out during a momentary break in traffic.

The witness told investigators she knew the girl was not going to make it across the highway, CHP spokesman officer Tom Wills said.

Thomas Robert Hacker, 52, of San Bruno, the van's driver, was going about 45 mph when he saw a blur coming from his left, Wills said.

"Hacker braked, but could not avoid hitting the girl," Wills said.

Michelle Engle said her boyfriend, cousin and brother heard the accident from the Engle house on the 19700 block of Highway 108 and ran out to see what happened.

"They comforted Angel until paramedics arrived, but I had to go back into the house with my son because I didn't want Angel to see me so freaked out," Michelle Engle said.

"She misjudged the traffic and was hit head-on, then flew 40 feet," said Michelle Engle. "I've always told the kids how dangerous it is to cross the highway, but they are teen-agers and they think they are invincible."