Woman Kills Iowa Teen in Hit-And-Run and Won’t Serve Jail Time
In April, 14-year-old Emma Cardenas was killed near the intersection of East University Avenue and Sampson Street in Des Moines in a hit-and-run. The woman who ran into Cardenas, Terra Flipping, struck the teenager with her vehicle as she was walking home from school.
Initially, Flipping was facing five years in prison for leaving the scene of a deadly accident. As of Wednesday, a Polk County judge sentenced her to two years probation and a $1,025 fine.
Des Moines Police told KCCI "that Flipping had no way to avoid hitting Cardenas. Adding that, had she not fled the scene, she likely would not face any charges." Flipping pled guilty to leaving the scene in July.
Previously, her father told KCCI that his "daughter didn't stop because people in the area started harassing her."
Cardenas mother, Anna Campos, has since spoken up about the death of her daughter denying the statement by Flipping's father and adding her reaction to the sentencing:
I know that's not true. We do have video from a grocery store that shows what happened that day and I'm probably going to release it so people know that she was lying.
I was in shock. I prepared myself mentally for the worst, and this was the worst.
She continued, referencing Flipping's behavior after Cardenas' death:
There was no remorse, no sorry, no nothing. I do have hate, which is honestly sad for me because I’m not a hateful person.
School signs and speed bumps have been placed in the area where the Des Moines East High School student was killed, but her mother won't let the work stop there to ensure this doesn't happen to any other parent. She plans to start a non-profit foundation in Cardenas’ honor, and that's not all.
This is what she says her additional plans are:
Next year I'm going to be running for school board. From something small working with the schools to getting safer streets and then I'm going to go to the statehouse. I'm going to — I guess become a politician.
She added the following to WHO13:
Ema would have wanted us to do something positive out of something that’s dark. This is my new purpose in life. People say that you always have a purpose. If I want something done, if I want thing’s done, I’ll just have to speak up.