RIVERDALE, Md. (WJLA) – A mother of two was killed and her 3-year-old daughter is in critical condition after the pair was struck by an SUV in Riverdale Monday afternoon.
The two victims—Thelma Flores and her 3-year-old daughter, Isavela—were hit on the 5800 block of Riverdale Road, near Kenilworth Avenue, around 4:30 p.m. Monday.
Prince George’s County Police say Flores was pronounced dead at the scene. The driver of the SUV was not injured.
Flores’ family members told ABC 7 News that the 31-year-old and her daughter had been walking back from a nearby international food store when they were struck.
The victims’ family also told ABC 7 News they heard witnesses say Flores and Isavela had been in the crosswalk at the time of the accident. However, police said their crash reconstruction team could not comment on this until their investigation is complete.
Witness Jonathan Escobar is in shock and disbelief. He says while he was waiting in his car to turn right onto Route 410, he saw the horrific scene unfold.
“The woman screamed and grabbed the child, to protect her,” he said.
Escobar says the mother and daughter were crossing in the crosswalk when the speeding SUV hit them.
“The lady was ... in the crosswalk, with her daughter and her groceries, and she almost made it, but, like I said, that guy was awfully, going really fast,” he said.
Escobar says he and others tried to help the woman, but it was too late. Police say the child was rushed to a D.C. hospital, where she remained in critical condition Tuesday night.
“It’s really hard to see that and can’t do anything about it,” Escobar said.
The Homeowner’s Association president for the area tells ABC7 News the intersection is dangerous and has been the scene of many accidents. Many local residents insist something must be done to ensure pedestrians will be able to use the crosswalk without gambling with their own safety.
“It’s not the first accident,” said Prince George’s County resident Gladys Brown. “It really needs a traffic light here, and my heart goes out to the parents and the child. It’s just sad.”
The Maryland State Highway Administration says it has taken numerous steps to carefully mark the area where Flores was killed, and that its engineers have to take a look at the fatal accident crash report before considering any changes.
Police say once the crash reconstruction team finishes its investigation, they can consider whether or not charges will be filed against the unnamed driver, who they say stayed on the scene and is cooperating.
Flores’ family hopes charges will be filed in the case.
“That guy, I don’t know why they let him go; we don’t understand,” said Flores’ sister-in-law, Socorro Savedra. “I want [him] to pay for what he did.”