A North County family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit after their daughter was hit and killed on her birthday by an armored truck in a La Jolla shopping center.
Mikaela Jones died on April 17 as she was crossing the street in La Jolla Village Square when her dog got away from her, San Diego police said.
They say a Garda armored truck came around the corner in the parking lot and ran her over.
Investigators say though the 22-year-old woman's hand was up at the time of the crash. They don't know if she was waving at the armored car to stop or waving at something else.
"When she was struck we were all struck," says her father John. "She's the one that didn't survive. Her pain is our pain."
"She was my mini me...She was all my hopes and dreams," said her mother Kerri, holding back tears as she held a picture of she and her daughter together.
Hoping no one will have to ever endure that pain again, the Rancho Penasquitos parents filed a wrongful death lawsuit.
It accuses Garda, the armored truck driver and La Jolla Village Square of negligence.
"This is a really unsafe area for pedestrians," said plaintiff's attorney Hamilton Arendsen of Arendsen Cane Molnar LLP. "There are no stop signs or crosswalks in an extremely high traffic pedestrian area. Essentially the shopping center knows that all these folks need to cross the street to get to all the shops."
The Jones' attorneys claim an unsafe situation led the armored truck to run over Mikaela, dragging her to her death.
"We believe that even when he hit her had he stopped like any reasonable driver would have done, perhaps Mikaela would have been here today," said plaintiff's attorney Robert Glassman of Panish Shea & Boyle LLP.
As Mikaela's family pushes for safety changes, they cling to the pictures and memories they have.
From their daughter's love of the outdoors, to the many family trips they shared with their water baby to places like Costa Rica.
Despite their loss, Mikaela's family is determined to share their daughter's compassion for the environment, pets and people.
"So I tell people to hold the door open for someone or pet a dog or stop and look at a flower," said Kerri Jones.
Requests for comment from both Garda and La Jolla Village Square have gone unanswered.