She saw the car speeding toward them as she and her daughter started to cross the street. It didn’t slow down.
In the next moment, Dania Cedeno-Delrosario laid down her life for her child.
Cedeno-Delrosario pushed her 7-year-old daughter, Denisse, out of the way. The speeding car slammed into Dania.
Denisse later told her father, Marcos Guerrero, that she was unconscious for a few minutes. She ran toward home to get her grandmother when she couldn’t wake up her mom, who lay pinned under an SUV parked on the street.
“Grandma! Grandma! We had an accident and mom won’t open her eyes,” she told her.
Police in Meriden, Conn., say the 40-year-old mother saved her daughter’s life during the hit-and-run accident Friday night, reports Fox 61 in Hartford, Conn.
The two had just gotten out of their car and were crossing the street on their way home when a car came up on them without slowing down, police said.
Giuseppe Capparella, who lives on the street where it happened, said he first knew something horrible had happened when he heard the little girl’s screams.
“She just kept saying, ‘Mommy’s dead, mommy’s dead,’” he told the Record-Journal in Meriden.
Cedeno-Delrosario, who sustained head and chest injuries, was flown to Hartford Hospital, where she died, according to WFSB in Hartford, Conn.
Denisse was hospitalized with minor injuries and released.
The driver fled, but a mirror and casing found at the scene might match a Nissan, said police, who are asking witnesses to step forward.
On Tuesday authorities released a photo, captured by surveillance camera, of the car suspected in the deadly hit-and-run.
“There is a 7-year-old that’s motherless and we’re taking this case very seriously, and we just want to get the vehicle that’s responsible for this,” Meriden Police Sgt. Stanley Zajac told Fox 61.
Cedeno-Delrosario moved to Connecticut two years ago from the Dominican Republic to build a new life for her family, local media reported. She worked two jobs, as a travel agent by day and a caretaker for the elderly at night.
Her husband just rejoined his wife and daughter from the Dominican Republic four months ago.