April 05, 2019
LaDerihanna Holmes, a 9-year-old girl from Lithonia, Georgia, was plowed into by a reckless driver while playing on the front yard of her home. She survived, but suffered a fractured skull and broken pelvic bone. However, the resilient girl took her first steps less than a week after the accident.
On March 29, Holmes was playing in the front yard of her house with a friend when a black sedan jumped the curve and careened through the lawn, barreling into the girl and crashing through her home.
Disturbing video surveillance of the incident shows how LaDerihanna tried to escape from the car but had no time to run. Her parents and everyone who has watched the footage are surprised the girl survived the impact.
Charlette Bolton, LaDerihanna’s mother, didn’t think her daughter was going to make it. “She’s a miracle,” she said.
Now, one week after the accident, the 9-year-old is smiling and assuring everyone around her that she will be back on her feet sooner than later.
“We’ve taken a few steps on the walker — as many as I could do. I was like, I'm not going to be in the hospital for too long," she told NBC News on Thursday.
The girl suffered a fractured skull, and her pelvic bone was broken in three places.
She’s currently on a wheelchair and with a lot of physical therapy sessions ahead, but her spirit remains intact.
LaDerihanna said that, although she was in a lot of pain when she first arrived at the hospital, she’s now looking forward to walking again in “about a week.”
“Most definitely," LaDerihanna said when asked if she will be cheerleading again. "I'm coming soon."
The 9-year-old says she’s grateful to her parents, medical staff and the people around the world that has been sending her encouraging messages after watching the news.
“It’s just wonderful and overwhelming that they’re helping me and praying for me and putting me in their prayers, and it’s just so nice," LaDerihanna said. "My goal is to get better with the help from everybody in the world.”
“She’s a strong, resilient little girl. She's very, very strong — she keeps me strong on my every day," said LaDerihanna’s mother, adding that she will never complain again about the girl making her cheerleader pirouettes on the living room.
In the footage of the incident, a man can be seen running from the scene. However, reports state that it was not the driver of the vehicle, but a man who was trying to carjack the driver.
Gabriel Jabri Fordham, 28, surrendered himself to police on Tuesday and is facing charges for serious injury by vehicle, failure to maintain a lane, failure to stop at a stop sign, reckless driving and hit-and-run, according to the DeKalb Sheriff's Office. He’s being held without bail.
Gabriel Jabri Fordham mugshot. | Source: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office
Fordham’s attorney, Ryan C. Williams, said that his client was trying to fight a carjacker and lost control of the vehicle.
After the crash, Williams says that Fordham stuck around to talk with the family, but “with emotions rising, he had no opportunity to stay there, without possibly being harmed.”
LaDerihanna’s family is not buying the story.
“When you get carjacked you don’t get carjacked from the passenger's side," Bolton said. "I don’t believe it one bit. It’s outrageous."
"There will be justice for my daughter,” she added.
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