Overbrook community holds memorial for 8-year-old girl killed by hit-and-run driver

- Dozens of people gathered Saturday at the spot where a little girl was killed by a hit-and-run driver in Philadelphia’s Overbrook section.

Eight-year-old Jayanna Powell, a second grader, was walking home from school Friday afternoon, when she was struck by a car, crossing at the corner of 69th Street and Lansdowne Avenue.

Jayanna’s brother, Hassan Cox, 12, who was holding her hand as they crossed, was also slightly injured.

“I was trying to pull her down and tried to move out of the way, and then the car hit my knee. That’s when I let her go. When she went in the air, she landed on top of the hood, and he kept on going. When she fell off the car, he kept on going,” he said.

Jayanna’s parents pleaded for the driver to go to police.

“He needs to turn himself in. If you got a heart. I don’t care what happened, just go the cops. Let my baby rest. She was only eight. You hit her, and she flew from the corner to the middle of the block, and you kept going!” Ayeshia Poole tearfully said. 

She and other family and friends released dozens of pink and purple balloons, Jayanna’s favorite colors.

Philadelphia Police are still searching for the hit-and-run vehicle, believed to be a silver Nissan Maxima or Altima, model year between 2009-2016.

The family has also established a GoFundMe page to raise money for a funeral. 

“My family is never going to be the same,” said cousin Vineisha Vieney.

The family is offering a reward for information that leads to an arrest.  Anyone with information should contact police.

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