Girl, 8, hospitalized after getting hit by truck

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

PEORIA. Ariz. -- An 8-year-old girl has a long road to recovery.

She was critically injured after she was hit by a truck while riding her bicycle home from school last Friday near 69th and Peoria avenues.

Gina Valenzuela was reportedly thrown up to 20 feet in the collision at the intersection

She wasn't wearing a helmet. She has severe head injuries. She had two surgeries, but she is still in extremely critical condition.

"Right now she's on a ventilator because she can't breathe on her own," said Lisa Martinez, Gina’s aunt.

Martinez said it's been painful seeing her niece, who's normally a firecracker, lying injured in this hospital bed.

"She has third degree burns on the right side of her body from lying down on the pavement. She also has road rash. They say she was thrown 15 to 20 feet so she has the road rash her lungs are really beat up," said Martinez.

For the most part, Martinez said Gina's injuries were to her head.

"The doctors are telling us just take it 24 hours at a time, and each day we just kind of go from there," said Martinez.

Police have not charged the driver because they said he was not intoxicated while driving and it appeared to be an accident.

"What it sounds like is she was in his blind spot and didn't see her," said Martinez.

She was riding her bike home from school with her older brother and sister.

Martinez said her niece and nephew were already rounding the corner to get home when they heard the crash.

"Gracie who's only 11 was trying to get her up," said Martinez.

She said it was a traumatizing experience for the kids as they saw their 8-year-old sister lying on the ground.

The family is now praying for her recovery and has this message:

"It's very important to wear a helmet for the kids to wear a helmet and protective gear and for kids to pay attention when they're on their bikes, and watch out for cars because sometimes they just don't see you," said Martinez.

Gina's family said they’re grateful to the community for their prayers.

They will have a car wash to raise money for Gina's medical bills in Surprise Sunday, Sept. 14 at the Applebee’s parking lot off Bell Rd. and Grand Ave. from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m.

The family is also accepting donations at

If you have any questions you can call Lisa at 623-210-9209.