A 12-year-old girl was hospitalized in critical condition Friday with injuries she suffered when she and her 14-year-old sister — who later died — were struck by a big rig as they walked to school in the Exposition Park area.
Marlene Lorenzo and her younger sister, Amy Lorenzo, were crossing the street near 37th Street and Broadway about 8 a.m. Thursday when the big rig crashed into them, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. The girls had a green light as they crossed the street, en route to nearby Clinton Middle School.
“They get sucked in underneath the truck, and another driver actually flags the driver and said `Hey, there’s somebody underneath your truck,'” LAPD Detective Moises Castillo told ABC7.
The trucker, who was not arrested, stayed at the scene and cooperated with investigators. Police said there was no evidence that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash, which has been classified as an accident, but said investigators would look at the driver’s cell phone to determine if he was distracted at the time of the collision.
A friend of the sisters told investigators she witnessed the crash.
“She pretty much told us that she saw the driver looking down, so she’s not sure if he was on the phone … but he had his head down and she tried to get his attention to stop,” Castillo said.
The friend ran to the scene and tried to help the girls, then called 911, he said.
“She actually grabbed her friend’s hand and said, `Hang in there, you’re going to be OK,”’ Castillo said.
Crisis counselors were sent Friday morning to assist students at Clinton Middle School, and a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the girls’ family.
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