A 10-year-old girl was struck and killed by a runaway Mercedes-Benz after pushing two female toddlers out of its way earlier this week in Lakeside, according to KTLA sister station KSWB.
Kiera Larsen “died heroically” to save the other youngsters after the vehicle began rolling in reverse down a sloping dirt driveway on Monday evening, according to the California Highway Patrol. The little girl was taken to a local hospital where she later died of her injuries.
“She sacrificed herself for another small child,” CHP Officer Kevin Pearlstein said Tuesday of Kiera.
Investigators were still trying to determine how the 1999 Mercedes-Benz started rolling down the driveway.
“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,” Pearlstein told the station.
Alissa Jenkins told the television station that Kiera saved her two daughters, 1-year-old Adison and 2-year-old Emma.
“She saved both my daughters’ lives,” Jenkins said. “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.”
Jenkins’ fiance, Jonathan Gusich, said Kiera acted as a “big sister” to the girls and was always looking out for them.
“I don’t know how to … repay her. She must have been the guardian angel yesterday and they’re here because of her,” he told the station.
Added Jenkins: “She is truly a hero. She will forever be my kids’ guardian angel.”
A GoFundMe page has been set up to the help the family pay for Kiera’s funeral.