Three young girls — one of them in a wheelchair — were killed and another left fighting for her life after they were struck in a hit and run crash in California by a cowardly driver who fled the scene.
Willow Sanchez, 11, Daytona Bronas, 12, and Sandra Mizer, 13, were killed after they were struck from behind by a white Chevrolet Silverado as they walked along the northbound lane of Camp Rock Road in Lucerne Valley on Saturday night.
‘My baby’s gone. I can’t have her no more,’ Sandra’s grandmother, Tammy Midkiff, told KNBC-TV.
Natalie Cole, 14, was also hit by the car, which had drifted onto the hard shoulder, and rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center in a critical condition.
She and Daytona used wheelchairs due to their disabilities and were being pushed by the two other girls when they were all struck, reports Victor Valley News Group.
Daytona Bronas, 12, who was in a wheelchair due to her disabilities, was one of three girls who were killed in the hit-and-run
Sandra Mizer, 13, was killed after she was struck from behind by a white Chevrolet Silverado
Willow Sanchez, 11, is one of three girls who were killed in the cowardly hit-and-run
‘[Natalie’s] leg was amputated in the accident, all her other limbs are shattered and her liver is bleeding, her kidneys are struggling,’ Natalie’s mother, Sherrie Orndorff said.
‘[Natalie]’s been by whole world,’ she said as her voice broke.
The driver and the passenger in the truck stopped after the collision and used a flashlight to see who they had hit before running off without calling 911, leaving the truck on the road, witnesses told family members.
‘You got out of your vehicle, looked at those dead and dying girls on the ground, and you ran,’ Orndorff said of the people in the truck.
‘You’re a coward,’ Christine Cordova, Sandra Mizer’s aunt, told the station. ‘You killed three kids, you took their lives. You didn’t just take them, you hurt everybody.
‘And you get to go home with your family, and ours will never come back,’ she said.
Orndorff, who is Willow’s big sister, said the youngsters had been spending the night at her house and decided to go for a stroll.
‘My sister was a beautiful bright girl who overcame so much already,’ Orndorff said of Willow. ‘I don’t know what to do without by baby sister.’
Natalie Cole, 14, was also hit by the car, which had drifted onto the hard shoulder, and rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center in a critical condition
The driver and the passenger in the truck stopped after the collision and used a flashlight to see who they had hit before running off without calling 911, leaving the truck on the road, witnesses told family members. Pictured: The white 2002 Chevrolet Solverado
California Highway Patrol said an unknown driver and passenger were driving a white 2002 Chevrolet Solverado when it appeared to have drifted onto the hard shoulder and hit the girls from behind.
The pair had fled the scene by the time San Bernardino County Firefighters arrived and found three of the girls dead on different sides of the road. They also found debris strewn across the ground including parts of the wheelchairs and shoes.
Sandra’s aunt has begged for the driver and passenger of the truck to turn themselves in to police.
‘This is the best apology you could ever give to us the family,’ Cordova wrote on Facebook.
‘I know all families say their child was good, but my niece truly was. She was only 13 and what was supposed to be a fun night at her friends, ended in heartbreak.
Sandra Mizer’s aunt Christine Cordova has begged for the driver and passenger of the truck to turn themselves in to police. Pictured: Victim Sandra
‘She just graduated from the core cadet and we just paid for her Marine field trip yesterday that she now won’t be attending. Her goal was to join the Marines right out of HS and become something.
‘She loved everyone and was outgoing and so happy despite her hard childhood. She was my baby, I was there when she was born, I named her. She hated bullies and loved younger kids like a big sister.’
‘When you have something like this happen, and people run away from little girls dying in the middle of the road on a night, it’s not right,’ Las Virgenes Unified School District Superintendent Peter Livingston told CBS Los Angeles.
‘Absolutely disgusts me that these people are out there, who I would not even call human beings, running around here.’
Flowers, candles, notes and a teddy bear have been left at the scene of the crash. Willow’s mother Lori Napier returned to the scene on Tuesday.
‘I don’t know why death happens, but it happens,’ Napier told CBS Los Angeles.
‘Anyone out there that has teenagers, don’t let them go out at night,’ she said. ‘Keep your teenagers in no matter how mad they are at you, because if we would’ve kept our teenagers in, we’d still have them.’
Flowers, candles and a teddy bear have been left at the scene of the crash where Lori Napier, the mother of victim Willow Sanchez grieves
Lori Napier, mother of Willow Sanchez, grieves at the scene of the crash where her daughter died
Jessica Risler, vice president of the Lucerne Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees, has set up a GoFundMe page for the four girls.
She wrote: ‘As a community, we are all so devastated, there are no words to describe the pain, anger, and frustration we are feeling.
‘We are so grateful for the outpour of support and kind words in this tragic time.
‘All families are being represented here and are all so grateful for any amount you can donate, any person you can share this with, and any kind words you would like to leave.
‘Thank you for your time and compassion at this time. These beautiful Souls left a lasting footprint on our hearts and their memory will continue to live on forever.
‘Fly High our sweet guardian Angels, we got it from here.’
Willow’s mother Lori Napier returned to the scene on Tuesday. Pictured: Victim Willow Sanchez with mother Lori
Robbin Napier-Florence, the aunt of Willow and Natalie, has set up a GoFundMe page to help to pay for Natalie’s medical costs.
She wrote on Facebook: ‘Things are getting hard friends. Natalie brother’s birthday is tomorrow and her mom is a mess. Torn between her love for her kids.
‘Please know that Natalie was in a wheel chair at the time of this accident and used her hands to navigate it. Now with the possible loss of her hands and leg she will need special care and a special chair.’
She wrote on the GoFundMe page: ’14 year old Natalie is the soul survivor of the hit-and-run accident in Lucerne valley that took the life of three young girls including Natalie’s cousin.
‘Doctors have ambulated the right leg reports the other leg both arms and pelvic is broken.
‘Natalie was wheelchair-bound along with one of her friends while on the walk when she got struck.
‘The driver of the truck that killed the girls glad this scene and they’re still on the run.
‘Natalie’s mother will need all the support she can get to continue to travel to the hospital an hour away while caring for her two young children under five Natalie will need a new wheelchair and extensive physical and mental therapy going. Thank you in advance for your help.’
The California Highway Patrol has asked anyone with information about the ongoing investigation into the collision contact Officer L. McAllister, at the Victorville CHP Area office at (760) 241-1186.