Girl, 10, Dies Pushing Two Toddlers Out of Path of Runaway Car
A 10-year-old girl gave her life saving two toddlers from the path of a runaway vehicle.
Kiera Larsen was playing in her front yard with two girls, aged 1 and 2, in Lakeside, California on Monday afternoon when a parked Mercedes-Benz started rolling down a sloping driveway, CBS affiliate KFMB reported.
The little girl ran into the vehicle's path to push the younger children out of the way, according to the California High Patrol. After saving them, Kiera was struck by the car.
She was rushed to hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
CBS8 reported that the car likely began rolling when other children playing inside it inadvertently set it in motion. CHP officers said the vehicle would be inspected to see if there had been a malfunction.
The mother of the children whom the little girl saved said the family would be forever grateful.
"She is truly a hero," Alissa Jenkins said. "She will forever be my kids' guardian angel."
"She was a big sister to them," the girls' dad, Jonathan Gusich, added. "She was always looking out for them, and apparently she would give her life for my kids."
Following news of Kiera's death, a GoFundMe page was launched to help her family with funeral expenses.
"Those of you who had the pleasure of knowing Kiera know that she is such an amazing, beautiful, smart and funny little girl," the page reads. "She truly brings so much love and happiness to so many people."
By Friday morning, nearly $60,000 had been donated, double the amount the page had appealed for.
"The entire Larsen family cannot thank every single one of you for your love, support and prayers," the page says. "You have no idea how much seeing the support from so many people has helped us during this incredibly tough time."