FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- The mother of one of the Forest Grove girls who died after getting hit by an SUV last weekend expressed disgust that the driver did not come forward after learning she had struck children.
Tersia Theel is Abigail Robinson's mother. Theel spoke with KGW Thursday and said she's still in shock over the tragic loss of her 11-year-old daughter whom she adored.
Abigail and her 6-year-old stepsister, Anna Dieter-Eckerdt, were playing in the leaves along a roadway near their home in Forest Grove when they were struck by a vehicle Sunday night. Anna died that night. Abigail passed away the next evening at the hospital.
Cinthya Garcia Cisneros and Mario Echeverria, both 18, were arrested Tuesday in connection with the hit-and-run. Court documents say Cisneros was the driver and did not come forward even when she learned that she had struck two children. Echeverria allegedly took the vehicle to a car wash in an effort to erase the evidence.
"That makes me sick," Theel said. "I don’t know how anyone would react in that situation, but if I knew it was an accident, I would have gotten out. I would have been frantic.”
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Theel, who lives outside the metro area, spoke over the phone to KGW, through tears at times, about the confident and conscientious daughter that she said charmed everyone she encountered.
"Every person she ever met remembered her and absolutely adored her,” Theel said. "You couldn't help it. She did not have a purposely hurtful bone in her body."
She described the smile in Abigail’s most recent school photos as a hint at the girl’s mischievous nature.
"She is always smiling if you look at her pictures," Theel said. "She was very funny. She would lick my shoulder because she knew I hated it and then run away whistling, like it wasn’t her who did it.”
Theel last saw her daughter in August when Abigail came to visit with her father Tom Robinson. She said her last memory of her daughter was the moment Abigail returned from fishing with her dad, thrilled with the experience.
“She hugged me and literally picked me up,” Theel said. “I’m only 5-foot-1.”
(Photo: Abigail Robinson and Anna Dieter-Eckerdt right)
Then, on Oct. 21 Theel got a call from her husband she could not comprehend: “All he said was ‘Abigail just got hit by a car and I don’t know if she’s OK,’” Theel recalled.
From that moment on, a dread settled into Theel. By Monday, even before Theel was contacted, she felt she knew her daughter had died.
“I can always feel my kids,” said Theel. “I could not feel her. I said to my father, ‘She’s not here.’”
Background: Court documents show drivers knew they hit someone
Adding to her pain, Theel said 20 years earlier, almost to the day, her daught Kristian was killed in a car crash at the age of just 6 months.
"This whole thing to me is so unbelievable,” said Theel, audibly shaken. “They died of the same type of head injury. I don’t believe it's happened.”
Theel said it took her “year and years and years” to come to peace with the death of her daughter Kristian.
Now, the fact that the alleged driver in Abigail's death did not come forward has made this tragedy all the harder to cope with.
"It wouldn't have changed the outcome,” said Theel.”But at least I would have had peace about it.”