MILWAUKEE -- "No child or family should ever have to go through watching something like that." That was the message from Danielle Eager after she, her husband, and her two boys were struck by a hit-and-run driver outside Fiserv Forum Saturday evening, Nov. 9 -- the city's third hit-and-run involving children in less than a week, and the fourth in just over two weeks. Eager pushed her children out of the way -- taking the brunt of the impact. She said she was simply grateful everyone survived.
Tony Eager, Danielle Eager, 8-year-old Brayson Eager, and 5-year-old Dayton Eager were hurt in the crash near 6th Street and Juneau Avenue.
"My 5-year-old son got hit pretty good," said Danielle Eager. "The guy continued to drive with me on the hood of his car and my husband was yelling for him to stop."
It happened around 6 p.m. The family was walking eastbound towards 6th Street on Juneau to attend Jurassic World at Fiserv Forum -- looking to get spooked by dinosaurs, instead of the real-life horror that played out in the street on their way to the event.
"I slid off the car, only to see my youngest, 5-year-old, in the road, unconscious," said Danielle Eager. "I dragged myself over to him screaming, 'My baby!' Because I thought he was dead."
Police said the family had the "walk" signal at the time.
The striking vehicle was described as a silver, four-door Chevy Malibu with a possible partial plate of KCV.
"My husband was trying to get the license plate down because the guy was still going," said Danielle Eager.
Eager said her 8-year-old son hit a pole, and her husband suffered a foot injury.
"Our son had a very weak pulse at first, but then from what I was told, he woke up and started crying," said Danielle Eager.
Danielle Eager said she, herself, was on the hood for a few seconds.
"I saw him coming really fast," said Danielle Eager. "From what the police said, I don’t know if I went in front of my kids or kind of pushed them, because it was so fast," said Danielle Eager. "They said it was a miracle we’re alive, and that what I did is, I saved my kids' life by being in front of the car."
Eager said her body took most of the impact -- and noted she had bruises throughout her body.
"Just mom instinct kicked in, and I would do it again for my kids in a heartbeat," said Danielle Eager. "We are all fine compared to some of the others, unfortunately. We’re just really sore and bruised up."
Eager said she was thankful for those who helped at the scene.
"There were so many people that were helping us and I’m just very thankful for it," said Eager. "Before the ambulance got there, I was crawling to my son in the road to try and get to him because I couldn’t walk. I just kept screaming, 'My baby, my baby.'"
She had this to say about the reckless driving problem in Milwaukee.
"I just think people in Milwaukee are careless," said Eager. "People are careless and they don’t care for other people’s lives. I don’t want another child to get hurt and I don’t want another parent to go through what we did."
She said she was hopeful for a quick arrest in the case.
"I'm hoping that they do catch him," said Eager. "(My son) just wanted to see the dinosaurs. My 5-year-old said he was going up the sky and his great-grandpa told him to get back down there. I definitely think we had guardian angels with us -- for sure."
Anyone with information on the striking driver in this case was asked to please contact police.
Hit-and-run at 68th and Congress
Saturday's incident happened two days after a 13-year-old boy was struck near 68th Street and Congress Street on Nov. 7. The boy was hit as he crossed the street, and the driver fled northbound from the scene.
The child was taken to the hospital for treatment of injuries not believed to be life-threatening.
Police were searching for the driver.
Hit-and-run at Florist and Teutonia
Three days before that, on Nov. 4, two boys were struck near Florist Avenue and Teutonia Avenue. 6-year-old Noah and 4-year-old AJ suffered serious injuries. Two other children were not hurt, police said, and ran to get help.
Cameran Collins faces two counts of hit-and-run, causing great bodily harm, as well as two counts of knowingly operating a motor vehicle while suspended, causing great bodily harm.
Police said Collins turned himself in to authorities the next day. The striking vehicle was recovered.
According to the criminal complaint, Collins told authorities he was driving south on Teutonia Avenue when he made a turn to travel west on Florist Avenue. Collins stated he drove west past the gas station, and he saw a bus that was parked. He said as he drove past the bus, two children ran out into the street. Collins said he hit them with the side mirror, and that there was nothing he could do. Collins said he was scared so he fled. He said he "drove around and eventually left the car in a random alley and took the license plate off. He then told his dad what happened." Collins also "acknowledged that he does not have a valid driver's license and knew that at the time."
Hit-and-run at 22nd and Center
The same day the boys were hit at Florist and Teutonia, loved ones came together to lay to rest two sisters who lost their lives after a hit-and-run near 22nd Street and Center Street on Oct. 24.
6-year-old Alisa Gee and 4-year-old Amea Gee were in a crosswalk with their cousin, 10-year-old Drevyze Rayford when a driver hit all three of them, and Rayford was the only one who survived.
Daetwan Robinson was charged with two counts of second-degree reckless homicide, one count of second-degree reckless injury, two counts of hit-and-run, involving death, and one count of hit-and-run involving great bodily harm.
According to the criminal complaint, witnesses said the striking vehicle was eastbound on Center Street at a high rate of speed in the bicycle lane, passing all the other cars which were stopped at the intersection to allow the children to cross. This car struck all three of the children as they were in the crosswalk, walking together from the north to the south side of Center Street, before fleeing the scene of the crash which was captured by surveillance cameras. At the crash scene, officers located a lower grille assembly and a broken piece of a car bumper and identified the car as a 2007-2009 4-door Saturn Aura.
The next day, police received an anonymous tip from a caller who saw a similar car posted for sale online by Daetwan Robinson. Later that day, police executed a search warrant at a residence and detached garage near 13th and Burleigh. They spotted a Saturn Aura that had been partially painted black with spray paint, according to the complaint. It was missing its lower bumper grille, and the piece of debris from the crash scene "fit exactly," the complaint said.
Prosecutors said a confidential informant spoke with Robinson through social media, and he wrote, "I need to come to yo house like " following by, "I got in a car accident." A short time later, the complaint said Robinson showed up at the informant's house and admitted, "He had hit 'the three kids' and that he had made 'a rookie mistake.'" Records showed Robinson's driving privilege was suspended due to his conviction for operating after suspension.