12-Year-Old Girl Was Killed in Hit and Run — and Police Are Searching for the Driver

Jailei Luke was struck and killed while trying to retrieve a ball from the street

Jailei Luke
Photo: Facebook

Police in Lebanon, Missouri, are searching for the driver of a black Chevy pickup truck believed to have struck and killed a 12-year-old girl.

On Saturday evening, 12-year-old Jailei Luke was fatally hit by a car at the intersection of North Highway 5 and North Adams Street. Lebanon Police say a black Chevy hit Jailei and drove away, according to OzarksFirst.com.

She was flown to Mercy Hospital, where she died.

Jailei’s grandmother, Maxine Sherrer, told KY3 the girl was playing in the yard with her cousins when a ball got out of the yard. Jailei ran to grab the ball from the highway and was struck.

“I wish I could bring her back,” Sherrer told the station. “It feels sometimes like a bad dream I’m just not going to wake up from.”

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Jailei had three sisters and was in sixth grade at Lebanon Middle School, her obituary states. She had lived in Lebanon all her life.

“Being outdoors with her dad was one of her favorite things,” her obituary states. “She was very girly, loved pageants, and also was a bit of a tomboy. She loved her family dearly and was very close to her sisters.”

Sherrer told KY3 Jailei wanted to go into the Navy like her grandfather.

“She always told Papa she was going to try to follow him. She said once she graduated she was going to try to go just like he did,” Sherrer said.

As she awaits justice for her granddaughter, Sherrer said she finds comfort in a memorial made for Jailei and the time they had together.

“[I’m] just going to keep holding on and keep her memories with me forever,” Sherrer said.

Anyone with information regarding the black Chevy and Jailei’s death is urged to call Sgt. Springer at (417) 532-3131.

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