Illinois man charged after toddler dies in Burlington hit-and-run

A two-year-old girl died after being hit by a vehicle that reportedly fled the scene.

Lt. Jeff Klein with the Burlington Police Department said around 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 10, 2014 reports came in that a child had been hit by a car in the 2700 block of Mount Pleasant Street by the Midtown Motel. Two-year-old Dniyah Angelique Noel Brider was taken to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.

According to Klein, police were told that a Dodge truck had been seen leaving the crash site.

Klein said police interviewed witnesses and spoke with 34-year-old Phillip Michael Evans from Wood River, Illinois at the scene and concluded that Evans was the driver that struck the child. Evans was arrested and taken to the Des Moines County Jail. He was charged with homicide by vehicle and held on $25,000 bond.

“We were able to tell that alcohol played a role.  How large a role, we can’t say at this point,” said Klein. “The parents were not involved in any way in lax supervision. It was an accident.  It’s one of those things that we wish wouldn’t have happened. Unfortunately, now, we’re having to deal with it.”

Family friend, Veronica Merut, said she was there when it all happened, and was holding Brider when she died.

“I felt a faint pulse and I turned her over to her side like I was always taught to; and she was puking.  And when I turned her back over, I lost her pulse,” said Merut.

Merut said she’s happy the police found Evans, and that she hopes he receives the justice he deserves.

“He needs to rot in jail because that was an innocent baby girl, she did not deserve any of this at all. She didn’t deserve it, she was the sweetest little girl in the world,” Merut said.

Police said they still have evidence that needs to be processed and sent to the lab in Des Moines. Evans will appear in front of a judge on Monday, May 12.