El Paso

Sunland Park teen suspected in deadly hit-and-run in EP's Upper Valley

Girl killed was a student at Lincoln Middle School

Sunland Park teen suspected in deadly hit-and-run in EP's Upper Valley

EL PASO, Texas - The 13-year-old who died after she was struck by an alleged hit-and-run driver was identified by her stepfather as Giselle Martinez.

Police said the driver involved in the hit-and-run has been identified as 17-year-old Samuel Thomas Garcia. The teenager turned himself in after an arrest warrant was issued for his arrest. The vehicle involved in the wreck has been seized with the help of Sunland Park Police and New Mexico State Police. 

Police said Monday the girl had died, but stepfather Luis Simental told ABC-7 his stepdaughter remains on life support. Simental said the family plans to take the girl off life support and will be donating her organs. 

"That means a lot to her dad and to her grandpa and me because, at least, we know somebody else will benefit from this horrible tragedy," Simental said, "She's going to be somebody else's hero, somebody's angel. For sure, she's our angel."

The stepfather spoke to ABC-7 on behalf of the girl's mother and her biological father. 

ABC-7 learned from El Paso ISD Martinez attended Lincoln Middle School. She was the eldest child in her family, now seeking help via a Go Fund Me account.

The girl's mother, who was not ready to speak on camera, told ABC-7 her daughter was an A&B honor roll student and planned to try out for her school's soccer team.

"My baby is not here anymore. we have to live without her now. There's a big gap in our heart now, a hole that can never be replaced," said Connie Martinez, Giselle's great grandmother. 

Police have not officially identified the girl, but said Monday she was struck on the 5500 block of Montoya in El Paso's Upper Valley. The wreck was reported at 4:12 p.m. on Friday, September 7, 2018. 

Police said the victim was walking with her nine-year-old brother when a truck traveling south on Montoya struck the victim and fled the scene without stopping render aid.

The victim suffered life-threatening injuries and was transported to University Medical Center. In a news release, police said the girl died Saturday as a result of the injuries she sustained.

"Giselle was the most wonderful little girl that you could meet: polite, funny, we had a blast together as a family," said Simental, "She adored her brothers and they adored her. They always wanted to be together."


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