A fundraising page has been started to help a nanny who is credited with saving a 2-year-old boy's life in Atwater Village after putting herself directly in the path of an oncoming vehicle that sped through a stop sign.
The incident took place on March 28 when Caroline Maurer was taking the toddler for a walk in his stroller around 10 a.m. The pair were about a block away from the child's home when a car ran a four-way stop sign and turned directly into them, she told KTLA Thursday.
There were no cars at the stop sign when the pair started crossing. Then, one car approached and – without stopping – made a left-hand turn toward Maurer and the little boy, Fox.
“It was going to be him hit since he was kind of more in front of me. So, as the car turned in – I was screaming, 'Stop! Stop!' – and pushed him as hard as I could to get him out of the way," Maurer said in a video shared on a YouCaring page this week.
She then placed herself between the car and the boy's stroller, the child's parents, Courtney Davis and Bill Wolkoff, stated on the YouCaring page.
“The car came and crushed my hands, the front bumper – and I was thrown a few feet, I don't know," she recalled.
Maurer suffered fractured bones in her hands, wrists and arms. The most difficult part for her though, she said, was the heartbreaking reality that she would be unable to get the child out of his stroller.
“Fox was strapped in and I couldn’t get him out,” she said, pausing as she fought back tears. “Because my hands were crushed and I was on the ground.”
The child was not directly hit by the car. He "miraculously escaped with only minor scrapes and bruises. One of the paramedics on the scene told me that Caroline had saved Fox’s life," Davis and Wolkoff wrote on the YouCaring page.
Maurer was hospitalized for more than two weeks before spending another two months in rehabilitation. She has undergone three surgeries since late March, and was only allowed to start physical therapy three months after because of weakness in her hands, wrists and arms.
She has also been suffering from dizziness that may also be related to the crash.
Dad Wolkoff said his family would be eternally grateful for Maurer's heroic sacrifice.
“I think my first reaction was: She’s family for the rest of our lives," he told KTLA. "Because of Caroline, the worst didn’t happen. She saved his life.”
Maurer, who is also a student, had been Fox’s nanny since he was 4 months old, but she had stopped working for the family full time a few months before the crash. She was watching Fox for a single day when she was hit by the car.
“He’s a wonderful, sweet little boy. I love him so much," she said.
Fox's parents started the YouCaring page to help Maurer. They said she may never fully regain strength in her hands, and has been unable to work or go to school since she was injured.
“As a mom, you give your kid to somebody else … your hope and your dream is that they’re going to treat your kid like their own," Davis said. "I’m just so grateful to her.”