Santa Rosa police surprise toddler injured by suspected drunken driver

A 2-year-old Windsor girl injured after being hit by a suspected drunken driver in Santa Rosa in July was recently visited by the Santa Rosa police officers who helped save her.

The officers visited Saphira Howerton on Friday, almost two months to the day she was hit after running into the street near Coddingtown Mall.

Officers surprised Howerton with presents on Friday, according to a Facebook post.

"We are happy to report that Saphira is almost fully recovered," the post said. "She enjoyed spending time with the officers who responded that day and was treated to a few gifts from Disney!"

The toddler was walking with her grandmother near the mall on July 11 when she ran into the street and was hit by a suspected drunken driver, the Press Democrat previously reported. She received life-threatening injuries and was airlifted to Children's Hospital Oakland.

Howerton was released from the hospital in early August, according to a GoFundMe raising money for her medical bills.

In the Santa Rosa Police Department's Facebook post, they included photos of the smiling toddler sitting atop a police motorcycle and clutching a "Lilo and Stitch" stuffed animal.

The post received more than a thousand "likes" and dozens of comments.

"What a perfect post. Hoping the officers got some peace of mind after seeing her," one commenter, Jenae Leuenberger-Fell, wrote on Facebook. "So thankful she's able to meet them and is on the path to a full recovery. Blessings to each of you."

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