Ana Herrera Rodriguez, 39, was fatally struck by an SDG&E truck while walking with her young daughter and her neighbor's little girl. The kids both survived. NBC 7's Rory Devine speaks with Rodriguez's neighbors, who say Rodriguez saved their child's life. Their little girl has been released from the hospital.
A San Diego woman died and two children were hospitalized after they were struck by an SDG&E truck in Shelltown early Wednesday.
Ana Herrera Rodriguez and her 5-year-old daughter were walking to school with a 4-year-old neighbor when they were struck by the utility truck around 7:40 a.m.
The San Diego Gas & Electric truck driver was interviewed by police following the incident on Cottonwood Street between Osborn and Earl Streets.
Rodriguez' 11-year-old son, who didn't witness the crash, told NBC 7 that he walked out of his home after the crash and saw his mother pinned beneath the truck's rear tire.
The location of the incident is north of Division Street about a block south of Balboa Elementary School, where the child attended preschool according to a district official.
Raquel Arias, whose 4-year-old was being treated for chest and leg injuries, said she had just dropped off her daughter with Rodriguez when she heard screaming outside.
“It was a horrible scene,” Arias told NBC 7 outside Rady Children’s Hospital.
Arias said several neighbors jumped in and lifted the truck off Rodriguez while other neighbors rushed to help the children.
Family members told NBC 7 that Rodriguez died from her injuries.
“She risked her life for those two girls. I don’t know what happened but those two girls are okay,” Arias said.
Rodriguez had two sons and two daughters according to the neighbor. The five-year-old girl involved in the accident was hospitalized with a fractured pelvis and some damage to her liver, she told NBC 7.
Meanwhile, Arias and her mother, Andrea Garcia, want to know how the SDG&E driver didn’t see the mother and two children crossing the street on the way to school.
“A beautiful life was taken away,” Arias said.
“How you could not see people crossing the street,” Garcia added. “ A life was taken. We need to find out what he was doing. How he could not see them? We need answers and we need them now.”
San Diego police said one victim was transported to UCSD Medical Center. A second was transported to Rady Children’s Hospital.
The Twitter account for SDPD reported one of the victims died in the collision and warned drivers to avoid the area.
At 4:50 p.m. Wednesday, SDG&E issued the following statement regarding the fatal accident:
“A San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) employee was involved in a tragic accident this morning that took the life of a woman in San Diego. The driver was on duty and driving a company vehicle. The circumstances of this accident are under investigation and SDG&E is cooperating fully with authorities.”
“This is a devastating accident and our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the victim. Safety is at the foundation of who we are as a company – from initial employee training to the construction, operation and maintenance of our facilities and the service provided to our customers. We are holding a safety stand down with employees to underscore our commitment to employee and public safety.”
Two weeks ago, a man was struck and killed by an SDG&E truck in El Cajon.
Robert Fisher died in a hit and run accident Jan. 6 on Jamacha Road south of East Main Street.
In this incident, the off-duty employee was accused of driving under the influence and leaving the scene of the accident.
SDG&E has issued a statement regarding Fisher's death.
"SDG&E continues to cooperate fully with authorities. This is a tragic accident. The employee is no longer with our company."
Check back on this developing story.