Parents of hit-and-run victim say pain is still raw

ABC7 News at 6pm
Published: Jan. 11, 2023 at 1:45 PM EST
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SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - “She had so much life to live and so much potential,” said Lilly’s Glaubach’s mother, Sarah Alexander.

Her daughter was killed by a hit-and-run driver in August 2022. In an interview with ABC7, Alexander says her pain is still very raw. “Lilly deserved more,” she said.

Lilly was only 13 years old when she was killed in August on her way home from school.

Alexander says her pain is still very raw. “Lilly deserved more,” she said.

She described her daughter’s passing using one word -- “unbelievable.”

Lilly was a star student at Pine View School for the Gifted. The Alexanders moved to Osprey from Lakewood Ranch in June ahead of Lilly’s seventh grade year, her stepfather, Paul Alexander, said.

“We decided, after a couple of years of living out in Lakewood, and watching Lilly go through her 12-hour days, that it would be best if we got closer. (She was) someone so special doing so well at such a difficult school.”

“She always texted me before she went on her way home, and she liked the freedom of being able to walk” Sarah Alexander said. “We lived a mile from the school.”

Lilly rode her bike to school on Aug. 16. She texted her mother as she wrapped up the school day, minutes before she was hit.

“She texted me that she loved me and she’s on her way home. and I ‘hearted’ it because I was with a patient. So maybe five to 10 minutes later, I texted her back and just said, ’I love you honey.’

“Two minutes later, I got a text from her phone, saying ‘This is a deputy, call this number right away.”

Sarah made the dreaded phone call no mother ever wants to make.

“The officer told me that she was hit, and I did not believe it, I thought it was a joke,” she said.

Alexander says she can’t understand why the driver of the vehicle that hit Lilly would simply drive away. “I think that he just was so callous in his behavior towards her. I just don’t understand how you can leave a child on a bike and just drive around her,” she said.

The man accused of being the hit-and-run driver, David Chang, is in jail. His lawyer, David Aiken, said he entered an “open” plea on Chang’s behalf Wednesday. An open plea foregoes a trial and leaves the decision of punishment entirely up to the judge.

Sarah Alexander noted Chang is also a father. “He gets his daughter, and I don’t,” she said.

Paul Alexander is also coming to terms with the unfathomable and searching for justice.

What would he say to Chang? “Gosh. I would have difficulty sitting in the same room with someone who would do something so heinous to a child.”

Though her family can not bring her back, Lilly’s spirit lives on inside the Alexander’s home. Her drawings are pinned up inside her younger brother’s room.

Her room is untouched, in the same condition it was when she left for school that fateful day in August. It’s a reminder why her mother is demanding change.

“I believe that Sarasota County should do more to protect kids, not only in that intersection but in all school zones,” Alexander said. “I don’t want another kid to be hit.”

“She was truly someone that would have made a difference in the world.”