Police believe robbers' SUV struck van carrying toddler
Two minutes after Destinee McClung dropped her son off at kindergarten Tuesday, her minivan was struck in a hit-and-run by an SUV police believe was used in two armed robberies just hours later.
"I didn't even get to see the car color, it was just gone," McClung said. "I'm thankful because it could've been a lot worse. My kindergartner was just sitting where the moment of impact happened."
McClung says she was slowing down in traffic on 6th Avenue Tuesday morning when she was struck from behind. Eyewitnesses at the scene say the vehicle was a black Chevrolet Tahoe that never slowed down. After hitting her vehicle, the SUV swerved around another vehicle and then sped recklessly through a car dealership parking lot.
Some good Samaritans raced after the SUV and got a partial license plate number. Police later said the black SUV and partial plate number matched a Tahoe found burned Wednesday on Baxter Road, which investigators believe was used by shotgun-wielding suspects to rob gas stations in Spenard and Government Hill.
"It's really concerning," McClung said. "After the accident I was like shaky. My 17-month-old, Heidi, was in the rear-facing car seat. She made a noise I had never heard before."
The back end of McClung's minivan was smashed in and the window shattered. Luckily none of the glass landed on the toddler.
"When the accident happened she let out a scream," McClung said. "When I got out of the car, I paused at the back door. Just to prepare myself and saying, 'OK, she's going to be bleeding and there is going to be glass on her.' The window shattered pretty much into the back storage space."
Heidi had a noticeable limp and burns from the car seat restraints. She was quickly taken in for X-rays and a chiropractor visit and is doing just fine.
McClung says she is pretty sure the vehicle is a total loss. Her insurance is still assessing the damage.
"This is really bad," McClung said. "We don't have rental insurance for a rental car. So that's bad. We just paid off the car a year ago and now we're in the process of buying a house. So we are in a really bad place in trying to get a new car and everything."
McClung says because they are in the process of buying a home, they can not buy a new car because of the credit pulls and income that would be taken away from the home purchase. In the meantime, family is helping out with transportation.
Copyright 2018 KTVA. All rights reserved.