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It's every driver's worst nightmare: accidentally hitting a child. It was moving day for Lara and she was driving her family's SUV around the block. Meanwhile, one street over, 11-year-old honor student Hallie Geier was about to walk her dog. Even though they had never met, their lives were about to collide in a tragic way. As Hallie left her house with her dog, the sixth grader stepped right into the path of the SUV Lara was driving. In a split second, Hallie was accidentally run down. Lara has never spoken publicly about the accident nor has she seen Hallie's parents Ted and Sofia since that fatal day—until now. No charges have been filed against Lara.

In their darkest hours of grief, Hallie's parents, Sofia and Ted, knew what Hallie's last wish would be. "If Hallie had lived," says her father Ted, "I know that she would have found it in her heart to insist that we reach out to the driver and make sure she was okay."

Ted and Sofia embrace Lara. "This was an accident," says Ted. "You had the choice to drive away, which a lot of people do, or to stay and try to help her. You did everything you could. You didn't do anything wrong. We know that."
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FROM: When You Accidentally Kill Someone
Published on November 11, 2004

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