Hike sentence

Mother of teen killed in hit-and-run shocked by driver’s conviction

DES MOINES, Iowa — Ema Cardenas, 14, was killed by a getaway driver while on her way home from East High School this spring. The driver who hit her will not go to jail for the crime, an outcome Cardenas’ mother finds unacceptable.

“I was in shock,” Cardenas’ mother Anna Campos said. “I mentally prepared for the worst, and this was the worst.”

A judge on Wednesday sentenced Terra Flipping, 38, to two years probation for leaving the scene of an accident, to which she pleaded guilty in July. The charges relate only to leaving the scene, not the accident itself.

Flipping hit Cardenas on April 28 while traveling the 1500 block of East University Avenue. Flipping pulled into a parking lot immediately after the crash but did not help Cardenas before leaving the area, police said.

Campos said she struggled to forgive Flipping after her daughter died.

“There was no remorse, no regrets, nothing,” Campos said of Flipping’s behavior during his sentencing. “I have hate, which is honestly sad for me because I’m not a hateful person.”

WHO 13 attempted to contact Flipping by knocking and leaving a business card at his last known address. Flipping did not respond.

Campos said she continues her daughter’s legacy through activism, specifically pushing for improved safety on the road where Cardenas died and ultimately creating a nonprofit foundation in l honor of Cardenas.

“Ema would have wanted us to make something positive out of something dark,” Campos said. “That’s my new purpose in life. People say you always have a purpose. If I want something done, if I want something done, I just have to talk.