SUNNYVALE (CBS SF) – A GoFundMe donation page has raised nearly $240,000 for a 13-year-old girl in critical condition after being targeted by a driver in an alleged hate crime last week in Sunnyvale.
The girl is a seventh-grader at Sunnyvale Middle School and was walking home from the library with her father and brother on the evening of April 23 when they were struck, along with four other people.
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Isaiah Peoples, 34, has been charged with eight counts of attempted murder and is being investigated for hate crime allegations by the FBI.
The girl suffered the most serious injuries and has been hospitalized for the last week. The GoFundMe page at https://www.gofundme.com/helpdhriti has a goal of $500,000 and had raised $239,407 as of Tuesday afternoon.
“She is a sweet little girl who is kind to everyone and always stole our hearts with her generosity,” organizers of the GoFundMe page wrote.
They said they’re hoping for a speedy recovery, but the cost of her medical bills and potential rehabilitation are expected to be enormous. All funds will go to her mother and father.
Peoples is a war veteran who admitted to intentionally driving into the group of pedestrians on El Camino Real, according to the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety. He may have targeted the victims because he thought they were Muslim. He is currently in jail without bail.
Public safety officers said Peoples was delivering food to his bible study group when he crashed into the victims. Witnesses said he was coherent after the crash, and said “Thank you Jesus, praise Jesus” while being arrested.
“The FBI San Francisco Field Office has opened a federal hate crime investigation into the incident that occurred in Sunnyvale on April 23, 2019,” FBI spokeswoman Cameron Polan said in a statement. “As this is an ongoing investigation, we are not able to comment further at this time.”
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