Tragedy struck a family on Mother’s Day in Lindenhurst, New York, when an 80-year-old woman, who reportedly had backed up her car and thought she put the car in drive, jumped a curb and pinned 55-year-old Diane Aluska against a wall, killing her.
According to the New York Daily News, the mother was walking to her car with her 16-year-old daughter, Jenna, after Sunday Mass. Aluska sacrificed her life for her daughter, pushing her out of harm’s way, according to police and witnesses.
“(The elderly woman) thought that she had put it in drive. She left it in reverse, hit the gas, started speeding backwards, lost control, and jumped the sidewalk,” Suffolk County Detective Sgt. James Murphy told reporters. “Her mom sees the car jump the curb, she actually grabs her by her shoulder and pushes her. She saved her life, without a doubt.”
Witness Joe Biggs described what he saw to WCBS.
“At the last second, you could see the mother kind of throw the daughter out of the way and sacrifice herself to try and save her own daughter, so that was pretty heartfelt,” Biggs said.
The teen reportedly sustained non-life-threatening injuries after being clipped by the vehicle rather than being pinned against a wall like her mother. Both she and her mother were rushed to Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center, police said.
Before that, bystanders lifted the car off Aluska and performed CPR, police said. Aluska was pronounced dead at the hospital.
The driver of the 2005 Toyota Corolla reportedly has been identified as Ann Riolo, who also suffered non-life-threatening injuries.
Police said the incident “appears to be non-criminal” and “just a terrible accident.”
Charges are not expected.
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