Kiera Larson was killed while saving two toddlers from a runaway SUV in Lakeside, California on Monday. The 10-year-old hero was playing in a driveway with the two toddlers when the SUV began barreling towards them.
The 10-year-old girl rushed to push the two-year-old toddler sisters, Emma Jenkins and Adison Jenkins, out of the way, and she was run over by the SUV herself, according to accounts by neighbors who witnessed the tragedy in San Diego County.
10 year old girl Kiera Larson is a hero as she dies saving 2 toddlers, pushing them away from a rolling car.https://t.co/2pONtqrUce
— Aisha Jamil (@aisha_jamil) February 26, 2016
Why the 1999 Mercedes SUV suddenly began rolling in reverse down a sloping dirt driveway off of Olde Highway 80 near Los Coches Road is still under investigation. Although the cause remains unknown at this time, some local media outlets indicate that the gear shift may have been moved by another child. The deadly accident occurred around 5 p.m.
“She [Kiera Larson] is truly a hero. She will forever be my kids’ guardian angel,” Alissa Jenkins, the mother of the two toddlers, stated during an interview with Fox News 5. “She saved both my daughters’ lives. These are my two kids that I have and both of them could’ve been gone in an instant and she stepped in and took over and did what she knows best to do — and that’s to protect those around her.”
During the SUV crash, Kiera Larson reportedly suffered multiple injuries and significant trauma. She was transported to a local hospital where she was declared dead.
Even at 10 a hero gave her life for 2, God bless you Kiera Larson; Guardian angel 10, dies saving lives of two girls https://t.co/rx1shd19Nm
— Don (@WhoopsOhMy) February 26, 2016
Alissa Jenkins and her fiance, Jonathan Gusich, said Kiera was a “big sister” to the little girls. According to Gusich, Larson was constantly “looking out for them.” The grieving father said the 10-year-old hero gave her life for his daughters.
“I don’t know how to repay them [Kiera’s parents] repay her,” Gusich added. “She must have been the guardian angel yesterday and they’re here because of her.'”
A GoFundMe page has been created to help the Larson family cover Kiera’s final expenses. As of Thursday evening, more than $46,000 in donations had come pouring in.
Here’s an excerpt penned by the grieving family of Kiera Larson posted to the GoFunMe page:
“Those of you who had the pleasure of knowing Kiera know that she is such an amazing, beautiful, smart and funny little girl. She truly brings so much love and happiness to so many people,. The entire Larsen family cannot thank every single one of you for your love, support and prayers. You have no idea how much seeing the support from so many people has helped us during this incredibly tough time. Again, THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.”
Kiera Larson was reportedly the third child of her age to die in vehicle crashes in the San Diego County area this past week. The other two children were passengers in cars that were hit by other moving vehicles, and both were pronounced dead at the scene. Blossom Valley Elementary School, where the heroic young girl attended classes, is providing crisis counselors to help students and staff deal with the tragedy.
“A child died heroically, I mean if you think about it, she sacrificed herself for another small child,’ California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein said. “We’re going to do an inspection on the vehicle, find out why this happened, find out if there was some sort of malfunction on the vehicle and go from there.”
No public comment other than the message posted on the GoFundMe page has been offered by Kiera Larson’s grieving family.
[Image via Shutterstock.com]