Bonnie Roth

Loved Ones Remember Dance Mom Killed in Alpine Crash

NBC Universal, Inc.

Loved ones gathered at a park in La Mesa on Tuesday evening to celebrate the life of a dance mom killed in a crash last week in Alpine.

Bonnie Roth, 35, lost control of her Chevrolet Tahoe for unknown reasons at about 8:30 a.m. Friday while headed west through the eastern San Diego-area town with her two young daughters, according to the county Medical Examiner's Office and California Highway Patrol. Family members say Roth, a dance coach, was taking her girls -- Moxie, 9, and Roxie, 3 -- to a dance competition.

The vehicle veered into an unpaved center median west of Tavern Road, overturned and tumbled down an embankment, ejecting Roth before coming to rest upright on the eastbound side of the freeway. Roth died at the scene.

Paramedics took the children -- who had been riding in the back seat of the SUV, the younger one secured in a car seat and the other wearing a seat belt -- to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, CHP public affairs Officer Travis Garrow said.

"She was the kindest, most wonderful mom. The greatest Christian woman and a friend to all," Roth's mother Cheryl told NBC 7 at the celebration. "The saddest loss of life. We're all, of course, in denial, in disbelief, and we all still feel her around us."

Cheryl credits good Samaritans at the scene of the crash for sparing Roth's children from serious injury, and damaging memories. She said the man who pulled them from the wreckage shielded their faces so they wouldn't see their mother.

"There was gas everywhere, the car was completely imploded and they risked their life to save those babies," Cheryl said.

More than 200 came to celebrate Roth, including current and former students of Roth's at the Element Dance Center. They wore t-shirts that said, "Be Like Bonnie."

"To be full of love, to be full of joy, and to take every opportunity that you could," student Isabelle Richards said, explaining the meaning behind the shirts. "Bonnie was pretty much like a second mom or an auntie. She was always there and was the biggest supporter of every girl."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to Garrow.

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