LaDerihanna Holmes in her new pink wheelchair.
Photo: Stewart Trial Attorneys
Photo: Stewart Trial Attorneys

1 week after harrowing crash, 9-year-old victim still smiling

The 9-year-old DeKalb County girl who was injured when a car barreled into her and her friend is still smiling bright.

It’s been a week since LaDerihanna Holmes was taken to the hospital in critical condition after she was struck by the sedan while playing outside in her yard near Lithonia.

Since the terrifying incident, which was caught on surveillance video, the girl’s family said she’s made a miraculous recovery and is beginning physical therapy. On Wednesday, they celebrated as she received her own pink wheelchair and used it for the first time, her family’s lawyer L. Chris Stewart said.

LaDerihanna Holmes in the hospital. (Family photo)

She hopes to start using a walker soon, Stewart said, calling LaDerihanna “the happiest, brightest girl around.”

She has a long road to recovery, he said. She suffered a skull fracture, broken pelvic bone, multiple lacerations and other internal injuries. Her friend who was with her during the crash suffered an injury to her foot.

Holmes’ family said earlier this week that LaDerihanna loves to dance and cheer, and they are hopeful she will be able to do that again.

GoFundMe page set up by Stewart’s office has raised more than $55,000.

Gabriel Fordham (Photo: DeKalb County Sheriff's Office)

Gabriel Fordham, a 28-year-old Lithonia man, turned himself in Tuesday and said he was behind the wheel of the car that crashed into LaDerihanna and left a large hole in her home.

Fordham’s attorney, however, said his client was carjacked before the robbery and was knocked out amid a tussle inside the car with the passenger. The passenger immediately ran away after the crash.

Fordham walked away after several minutes after he said he felt threatened by the girl’s family members, one of whom was holding a gun outside the home.

A 28-year-old Lithonia man, Gabriel Fordham, turned himself in on charges that he struck LaDerihanna Holmes, 9, with his car. His attorney say he felt threatened by the girl’s family members in the yard. In surveillance video, a person walks outside of the home minutes after the crash holding what appears to be a handgun in his left hand.

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