A 10-year-old Lakeside, California, girl is being called a hero and a guardian angel after she risked her life to save two younger children Monday.
KSWB reported that a 1999 Mercedes-Benz SUV started rolling in reverse down a sloping dirt driveway.
The girl, Kiera Larsen, pushed Adison, 1, and Emma, 2, out of the way of the SUV and was struck in the process.
Larsen was taken to a hospital, where she later died.
Police said it is not clear how that happened, but there is an investigation underway.
"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." California Highway Patrol Officer Kevin Pearlstein said.
KGTV reported that the children were playing in the yard when the car began rolling back.
“She saved both my daughters' lives,” mother Alissa 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.”
Jenkin's fiance, Jonathan Gusich, said Larsen was always looking out for the young girls, acting as a "big sister."
"She is truly a hero and will forever be my kids' guardian angel," Jenkins said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help with expenses for the Larsen family. It has surpassed its $30,000 goal in two days.
"The entire Larsen family cannot thank every single one of you for your love, support and prayers," fund creator Nina Larsen said in a fund update. "You have no idea how much seeing the support from so many people has helped us during this incredibly tough time."
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