A mother was killed May 14 when she was struck by a car after pushing her daughter out of harm's way.
Diane Aluska, 55, was struck and killed by a moving car that had jumped the sidewalk, according to the New York Post. Aluska and her daughter Jenna, 16, were returning from a Mother's Day mass at a local church when an 80-year-old woman reversed onto the sidewalk, striking Diane.
Diane shoved Jenna out of the way, taking the brunt of the collision herself. Diane was rushed to a local hospital where she died of her injuries. Jenna was also taken to the hospital and is reported to be in stable condition.
Police believe the driver mistakenly thought she had put the vehicle back into drive after pulling out of a parking spot, but instead left it in reverse. She then stepped on the gas, lurching the vehicle up onto the curb, killing Diane and crashing into a firehouse, according to the New York Daily News.
"There is no doubt [Diane] saved her daughter’s life," Suffolk County police Detective Sgt. James Murphy told the Post. Murphy also said the driver, Ann Riolo, had narrowly missed three parked cars before striking Diane.
"Diane Aluska … put her hand on her daughter’s shoulder and attempted to push her out of the way,” Murphy said. "The car just clipped her 16-year-old daughter Jenna. Diane was killed."
Riolo remained at the scene of the crash and will likely not face criminal charges.
"This appears to be non-criminal, a tragic accident," Murphy said. "We are taking the car in to investigate, but it appears to be non-criminal."
WABC reports that Diane was pinned underneath the vehicle after the accident, and bystanders rushed to push the car off Diane to rescue her. They were able to roll the car forward, but Diane had been mortally struck.
"Who the heck would want that to happen on Mother’s Day,” a neighbor told the Post. "You wouldn’t want it to happen anytime, but on Mother’s Day, it’s even more tragic."
In Bryan, Texas, a mother and her 3-year-old child were in a single-car accident on the freeway May 14, when the vehicle left the roadway and struck a tree, according to KBTX. Witnesses attempted to pull the mother from the vehicle as it caught fire, but were unsuccessful. They were, however, able to save the child from the wreckage.