FOREST GROVE, Ore. -- Police said they have found the vehicle that struck two girls playing in leaves alongside a roadway in Forest Grove Sunday night, killing one girl and critically injuring her sister.
Six-year-old Anna Dieter-Eckerdt died after getting hit by the vehicle and her 11-year-old sister, Abigail Robinson, was critically injured, according to Capt. Mike Herb with the Forest Grove Police Department.
The girls were playing in leaves piled partly in a greenway area and partly over a curb near their home in the 1700 block of Main Street around 8:30 p.m. when they were struck.
Police canvased the neighborhood Monday, trying to find witnesses who could help them track down the driver who hit the girls. Just before 6 p.m., Herb announced that the vehicle had been found.
This vehicle will be forensically searched and processed. There have been no arrests, he said. This is still a very active and dynamic investigation. No other information is being be released at this time.
The vehicle reportedly hit the girls, who are half-sisters, on the west side of Main Street in front of the Forest Grove School District administration building.
Herb said the driver may not have realized the girls were struck. Neighbors said some of the leaves had been raked into the street because Monday was Leaf Day in the community.
If the children by chance were covered in the leaves and were playing in the leaves and were burying each other in the leaves, it's conceivable that the driver may have hit something and knows they hit something but perhaps thinks it may have been a piece of debris or a log or a curb or a speedbump, Herb said.
Anna was pronounced dead at the scene and Abigail was airlifted to a Portland hospital. Herb said Abigail's injuries were life-threatening.
The tragedy hit the close-knit community hard. Hundreds of church members, co-workers and friends came out for a candlelight vigil Monday night at Sonrise Church to mourn the loss.
It represents hope. Hope that we don't walk alone in this journey. We have our family, we have our friends, we have our faith, said Sonrise Church lead pastor, James Gleason.
A curbside memorial was also growing in size Monday where the girls were struck. People were leaving flowers and handwritten notes for the family.
Grief counselors were on hand at Forest Grove schools Monday.
An account has been set up for donations to cover expenses for the family. Donations can be made to the Deiter-Robinson fund at any Columbia Credit Union branch or through the Sonrise Church.
Anyone with information that may help investigators was asked to call the non-emergency police line at (503) 629-0111.