A good Samaritan who stopped to check on two cars involved in an early morning collision on State Route 94 was killed when she was struck by a third vehicle and possibly by a fourth early Thursday.
Bertha Estrada, 19, stopped to check on a Honda Civic and a Mercedes-Benz involved in a crash in eastbound lanes of SR-94 near 28th Street in Golden Hill at about 1:45 a.m.
"The victim and a driver stopped to assist, so they were two good Samaritans," California Highway Patrol Sgt. Sophia Mosqueda said.
While Estrada was talking to the driver of the Mercedez-Benz, a Jeep struck the car and her as she stood outside the vehicle in traffic lanes, CHP said.
Estrada was thrown across the freeway into westbound lanes where she may have been struck by another vehicle.
CHP initially believed there was a fourth vehicle that ran over the victim who then took off from the scene, but upon further investigation, CHP Officer Jake Sanchez said, they were not sure whether there was a fourth driver.
NBC 7 spoke with Estrada's friend who cried as she described the victim as "a good person."
This wasn't the first time Estrada's family experienced this type of tragedy. Her older sister was killed in a car crash several years ago.
"I lost my daughter, my other daughter, many years ago in a car accident too," Elke Estrada, the victim's mother told NBC 7. "Now almost the same."
Bertha Estrada leaves behind a one-year-old son, Omari. She was attending Southwestern College and wanted to transfer to a four-year school and entering a nursing program.
"That is just who she is like if there was a turtle in the middle of the road, she would probably stop and pick it up as well," her brother Chris Yataco said. "That's how caring she is."
The occupants of the Mercedes and the driver of the Jeep were transported to the hospital. No one was "severely" injured, Sanchez said.
CHP said alcohol or drugs were not factors in any of the crashes.
Both directions of SR-94 were shut down for several hours for the investigation. At 5 a.m. Thursday, only two lanes of westbound SR-94 were open. All lanes were reopened by 10:30 a.m.
This is the second time this week that a person was killed attempting to assist a disabled vehicle.
On Saturday, a Navy sailor was shot after he stopped to assist what he thought was a disabled vehicle on a Mountain View-area freeway on-ramp.
"I am sure that people appreciate good Samaritans, we appreciate good Samaritans but 911 – everybody has access to a cell phone," Mosqueda said. "Its probably the safest response for everybody if you want to help."
CHP is asking anyone who may have seen something or has any information in relation to the case to call (619)220-5492.
A GoFundMe has been set up to help the Estrada family with funeral expenses.
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