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

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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.


  • Jacob Ray Vester Sr

    Iam so very sorry to both delanie and terrell Tink will always be in everyones Hearts and thoughts Lil.J was just asking where is tink last week and ter reguardless of everything we love you guys and you don’t deserve this Tink is a sweetheart God got and angel so sorry guys

  • SomethingSmellsFishyHere

    No parental involvement???? Well they got that right! A little involvement and they might have noticed the kids were out of the room!! (Because a hotel room is such a large space and easy to lose track if children in)

    • Sarah

      I have to agree with somethingsmellsfishy and Lee. I would like more info, what was a 2 year old doing in a parking lot at 9:30pm. I too am sorry for their loss and can not imagine the horror they are going through, but there had to be more then what we are told.

  • Lee

    Where were the parents or adult supervision of a minor child? Who allows their two year old to roam a motel parking lot unattended at 9:30pm?

  • furious

    First off, how do three adults not notice that the child(ren) went outside. I’m sure this hotel supplied nothing more than a microwave and refrigerator. Secondly, why were they ‘fixing dinner’ so late? Does it really take three adults to microwave dinner? There is more to this story… more than ‘lax supervision’ too. It’s a shame this poor beautiful child is gone but it could have been prevented. When something like this happens, whoever is responsible for the care of the child(ren) at the time should have to provide urine and blood for drug/alcohol testing. If there’s a trace of anything they should be charged with negligence. I’ll keep my theory of what happened to myself. This baby deserved amazing things but was dealt the wrong hand. It isn’t fair. I hope this tragedy is a wake-up call to “parents” across the nation. Fly high, Little Beauty, you’re gone way too soon.

  • Robert Holmes

    Sad accident, it seems the fault is with the parents of the child. That must be devastating to realize.

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