MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A teenage girl died Thursday afternoon in St. Paul after an SUV barreled over a sidewalk and hit her while she and a friend were sitting on a grassy embankment, police said.
Sixteen-year-old Clarisse Grime had already died by the time police arrived at the scene shortly after 1 p.m.
“I heard the big, old boom; the kids came in running and screaming,” said Renee Moore, who witnessed the incident’s aftermath and called 911.
Moore and her daughter ran out to see if they could help. They found Grime gravely injured.
“That was very heartbreaking, heart-wrenching,” Moore said. “I’m telling you, it was horrible.”
Moore said she felt helpless as she waited for paramedics to arrive.
St. Paul police said the incident happened near the intersection of East Third and Hazelwood streets. Carlos Viveros-Colorado, 50, was driving the SUV. He was speeding down East Third Street before the incident happened, police believe.
Colorado spoke with police at the scene. He is being held on suspicion of criminal vehicle operation.
According to police, Viveros-Colorado attempted to make a sharp left-hand turn onto Hazelwood. But he lost control, hitting a fire hydrant, a sign and then rolling into a grassy embankment where Grime was waiting with a boy, 17-year-old Eduardo Vazquez-Torres. The two were sitting in the shade of a tree, about 20 feet away from the street.
“He laid by her,” Moore said. “She was struggling for her life, and…it was over.”
St. Paul Public Schools said Grime and Vazquez-Torres were both from St. Paul.
Vazquez-Torres suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was treated at Regions Hospital. When police initially arrived at the scene, they found him conscious and walking around.
“It breaks my heart to hear of this tragic accident,” said Jean O’Connell, of St. Paul Public Schools. “My thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the students involved.”
Grime was attending summer school at Harding High School, which hosts summer classes for most schools in the area.
“My heart really goes out to her parents, her family,” Moore said. “You know, it’s just sad.”
Grime’s family says they have no money for the funeral. They are asking for donations, which can be made out to the Clarisse Grimes Memorial Fund at any Wells Fargo bank.