Officers, Good Samaritans Praised For Lifting Car Off Mother & Toddler
AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – A mother and two of her children are recovering after they were hit by a car on Monday night in Aurora. The mother and one child are alive thanks to the quick action of police officers and some Good Samaritans.
The family was walking across Exposition Avenue at about 6:25 p.m. when they were hit by a driver who was going about 30 mph. Police confirmed that the driver — Michael Lovato, 52, of Aurora — was going 5 mph under the speed limit and that the mother and children were not using a crosswalk.
The collision happened in front of the Walmart store located at 14200 E. Exposition Avenue.
Emergency crews said Kipinga Muanza Kalala, 37, and her girl Angela Muanza Kalala, 2, were actually stuck under the car after they were hit. Kipinga was still holding the girl under the car.
“Two officers with the assistance of several good Samaritans lifted the passenger side of the car and removed the toddler and her mother,” Aurora police Lt. Chuck DeShazer wrote in a news release. “Their actions directly impacted the mitigation of a very precarious situation.”
Kipinga had her 4-year-old twin boys Jack Muanza Kalala and Vic Muanza Kalala with her at the time. One was “bumped” by the car and hurt his head, according to police, and the other wasn’t hit.
Sgt. John Kessler was working off duty at the Walmart and ran to help. Sgt. Matt Brukacher was a first responder on the scene. A father and stepdaughter almost didn’t stop on their way to Walmart, but had a change of heart. Brukacher asked them for help to lift the car, and the response from citizens was amazing, he said.
“The adrenaline kicks in, and at that moment I had two people that were possibly going to die. I wasn’t going to let that happen with me just standing there waiting for somebody else to do what I could do,” Brukacher said. “So it was time to step up and we got the job done.”
“There were people helping everywhere. It was amazing. There wasn’t people just standing around looking. Everyone was trying to help out the best they could,” Kessler said.
Kipinga has a head injury and several broken bones but is expected to survive. She has been listed in fair condition at Aurora South Hospital. Angela was sustained “lacerations to her head and legs” and has been listed in good condition at The Children’s Hospital.
Authorities investigated the crash scene and say the driver will not face any charges.
“The investigation revealed the pedestrians were on the north side of the road and were crossing southbound. They successfully crossed three lanes of traffic and a turn lane before being struck by the Kia Rio which was traveling eastbound,” DeShazer said.