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Good Samaritan describes Santa Ana hit-and-run crash

June 25, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
A good Samaritan who stopped a suspected hit-and-run driver is speaking out two days after the crash that left a 5-year-old girl dead and her mother and sister critically injured.

The family was in a crosswalk at 17th and Spurgeon streets in Santa Ana when they were hit Saturday. A memorial has since been set up near the crash scene.

It was Saturday morning when the driver plowed into the mother and her two young daughters then allegedly tried to drive off. But her path was blocked by a woman who saw the whole thing happen.

"I asked her, 'Do you know what you are doing,' and she and she [shook her head], didn't say anything," said Beatriz Jimenez, the good Samaritan who drove after the suspect and blocked her from driving away.

Jimenez recalls how the suspected hit-and-run driver Jessicah Cowan reacted after Cowan allegedly slammed into a mother and two children in a crosswalk in Santa Ana Saturday morning.

"I say, 'Two girls and a mom are on the floor.' 'Who cares?' she says," said Jimenez.

Jimenez alleges Cowan was driving faster than 50 mph when she ran a red light and hit 5-year-old Osmara Meza, killing her. The little girls, 6-year-old sister Grecia Meza and the children's 45-year-old mother Eloisa Madrigal suffered head injuries that left them in critical condition. The two remain hospitalized. Grecia is expected to survive. Eloisa is in extremely critical condition.

Cowan, 33, never stopped. Jimenez, who was in her car, followed her and blocked Cowan's vehicle until police arrived. She feared Cowan would hurt others if she wasn't stopped.

Police allege Cowan was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A container of medical marijuana was found inside her vehicle. She remains in custody facing felony charges, while the victims' family prepares to bury a little girl.

"We can't express right now what we're feeling, but we do ask for justice," said Osmara's cousin Tania Montanez.

The mother remains in extremely critical condition. The 6-year-old is in critical condition with head injuries, but she is expected to survive.

The family cannot afford to bury the 5-year-old. The Santa Ana Police Foundation is trying to help the family by collecting donations. If you'd like to help, visit http://www.sapdf.org/tragedy/.


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