Girl fatally struck by police vehicle was headed to store

RED OAK, Iowa (AP) — A 12-year-old Iowa girl who was struck and killed by a police vehicle that was headed to an apartment fire had been on her way to a grocery store to buy snacks with a gift card she got for Christmas, her older sister said.

Gracie Redd, 15, described Vana Marie Redd as “amazing,” KMTV reported.

Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Alex Dinkla said the crash happened Monday night as a Red Oak police cruiser headed to the fire with its lights and sirens on. Vana “ran into the roadway,” the crash report stated.

The Red Oak Fire Department said a stove was the only thing damaged in the blaze and that there were no injuries. The officer involved in the crash has been placed on paid leave while the state patrol investigates.

Vana’s mother died nearly two years ago and she was living with aunt and uncle, James and Melissa Shirley.

“We wanted to really give her a chance at a good life, a normal life as a child, to grow up and get to experience life, enjoy success, and grow up to make her mark on the world,” James Shirley said. “She didn’t get her full opportunity to do so.”

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