An 18-month-old girl hit and killed by a car while playing in an alley in Escondido is the second toddler killed in recent years.
Khloe Cruz was taken to the hospital after she was struck around 12:42 p.m. Tuesday inside an alley north of 4th Avenue and Orange Street. She succumbed to her injuries at the hospital, police said.
Her cousin, Angel Cruz is still reeling from the incident.
"I'm just trying to keep calm and not freak everyone else out,” Cruz said.
Family and neighbors said kids of all ages play in the alley riding bikes or their toys, sharing the same lanes with moving cars. It is a game of dodging the neighborhood has become accustom.
"Everyone just loves playing back there," Cruz said.
Khloe's 10-year-old sister Karina Chavez said the little girl had been playing with a balloon when the car came down the alley. Karina added she tried to warn the driver.
“I was telling her to stop and I was putting my hand like a signal to stop,” Karina said.
The woman behind the wheel is a neighbor.
Police said she wasn't speeding, nor impaired but possibly focused on Karina and not the much smaller Khloe.
"I was holding her and I was taking her inside the house to tell my mom,” Karina said.
On April 16, 2015, 3-year-old Gerardo Sosa was killed just 30 steps away in the same alley.
Sosa slipped out of his child seat and got out of the car while his mother was parking it. She didn't realize it until it was too late.