'Remorseful' teacher charged in boy's hit-and-run death



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Posted on January 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 30 at 1:48 PM

Hit-and-run fatality

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GRAND PRAIRIE – A middle school teacher surrendered to Grand Prairie police at about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday in connection with last week's hit-and-run death of 6-year-old John Raidy, who was struck by a car as he crossed the street.  

Grand Prairie Police Department spokesman Sgt. Eric Hansen said Tammy Lowe, 53, turned herself in with her husband by her side. She was booked into jail at 12:55 p.m., county records show.

During a news conference, Hansen said Lowe left a hand-written resignation letter at Adams Middle School on Tuesday morning, saying she would be seeking psychiatric treatment.

A Grand Prairie police investigator then went to Lowe's home to make a welfare check. After speaking with the officer, Lowe went to the police station and surrendered. 

She taught Texas history and began working at the school in 1996. Lowe is jailed on $100,000 bond.

On Tuesday afternoon, the charges against her were upgraded from injury to a child to manslaughter, a second-degree felony. She is also charged with failure to stop and render aid, a third-degree felony. 

Detectives seized Lowe's 2008 black Toyota Yaris as evidence. It had been parked in her garage since the fatal accident.

Lowe appeared distraught and pale, Hansen said.

"Her emotional state while we were speaking with her did indicate she was remorseful about what had occurred but, again, she did not provide us with many details," Hansen said. 

The case sparked community outrage when a car ran a red light and hit the child as he crossed North Carrier Parkway at Holiday Hills. The boy's mother was just a few feet away, pushing her daughter in a stroller.  

An intense search for the car and driver has been underway ever since, propelled by a grainy surveillance image of a black, four-door Toyota Yaris fleeing the scene. On Tuesday, the black car's hood was dented from the fatal collision, investigators said

In the days leading up to her surrender, Adams Principal Nneka Bernard grew worried about Lowe's behavior and asked for police to conduct a welfare check after the teacher turned in a handwritten resignation letter on Tuesday morning.

John Raidy's grandmother, Anita Eads, said the family will be able to bury him with "a little lighter heart" knowing that a suspect is in custody. She thanked the media for its coverage, which extended far beyond the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. 

Eads said John's mother is out shopping for an appropriate dress for her child's funeral and wants to focus on what she's lost. Eads, however, was still sympathetic for Lowe. 

"I know that woman didn't set out to hit him," Eads said. "I can only imagine what she's going through right now." 

Email jdouglas@wfaa.com