Police investigate fatal crash involving children, pregnant woman

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by Christina O'Haver

azfamily.com

Posted on February 28, 2014 at 9:28 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 3 at 2:27 PM

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PHOENIX -- Police are investigating a car crash in west Phoenix Friday night that killed a 4-year-old girl and injured several other people, including a pregnant woman.

About 7:15 p.m., a Ford Explorer traveling south on 83rd Avenue, north of Osborn Road, sideswiped a northbound Chevy Malibu, according to police.

The Malibu rotated counterclockwise and came to a stop facing south in the southbound lanes of 83rd Avenue. The occupants did not report injuries.

Police said the Ford continued across the northbound lanes and collided nearly head-on with a 2007 Nissan Frontier pickup truck. Everyone involved in the collision was seriously injured.

The driver of the Ford Explorer, a woman who was 7 months pregnant, was transported to a local hospital where she underwent an emergency delivery. As of Saturday morning, the newborn child was in extremely critical condition and the mother was stable, police said.

The driver and front seat passenger of the Nissan Frontier sustained serious injuries and were transported to area hospitals. They are expected to recover.

Police said a 3-year-old boy and 4-year-old girl riding in the backseat of the Nissan were critically injured, and the girl, Angel Diaz, died shortly after arriving at the hospital. The boy was in serious but stable condition Saturday morning.

Police said the children were wearing seat belts but were not in child restraints.

"We heard a loud bang last night ... sounded like a huge explosion," said Ramon Hernandez. "We come out here and in 50 seconds, the whole street was flooded with pedestrians."

Hernandez said he and another woman who lives nearby tried to keep the pregnant woman conscious.

"I ended up getting a lot of blood on my arm. It was pretty graphic," he recalled.

On Saturday, Hernandez visited the memorial for the 4-year-old girl at the scene of the crash and placed a teddy bear next to a bouquet of flowers.

"I'd seen the little girl get carried away in a stretcher," he said. "Something like that sticks with you and it's really sad. I've got five children of my own. It hit home."

Heidi Graber, another bystander who rushed to help, said the kids were traveling with their grandparents.

"It was terrifying," she said. "It really makes you think, 'What if this happened to you?' You thank God every day for another day."

Graber also visited the memorial and brought her own kids along.

"Kiss them every night," she said. You never know what's guaranteed tomorrow."

Phoenix police detectives are investigating the collision, and looking into whether impairment or distracted driving were factors.

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