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7-year-old girl on bike killed after truck hits her at Merced apartments

A 7-year-old girl was killed Friday after she was hit by a truck while riding her bike, Merced police reported.

Witnesses told police the girl, identified by the coroner's office as Joanna Topete, was riding her bike on the sidewalk near the Sunny View Apartments at 1144 D St. in South Merced at 5:37 p.m.

She turned into a parking lot and was struck by a truck leaving the lot. The driver was told by a nearby pedestrian he'd hit the girl, and he stopped to help her, police said.

Police and emergency medical workers provided medical care at the scene, but the girl was pronounced dead at the hospital. Officers said the driver didn't appear to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He provided a blood sample for testing and hasn't been charged with a crime.

The accident remains under investigation.

Police are asking anyone with information to call Sgt. Jay Struble at (209) 385-4739, or the department's automated tip line at (209) 385-4725. Anonymous tips can also be text messaged to the department by dialing "TIP411" (847411) and including the word "ComVIP" as the keyword in the text message.

Managing Editor Victor A. Patton can be reached at (209) 385-2431 or