Girl hit and killed when driver runs red light

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman
By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- A five-year-old girl was hit and killed when a woman driving a pickup truck ran a red light, according to police.

It happened just after 8 p.m. Saturday on Main Street near Gilbert Road.

Marlene Mendoza was riding a tricycle and was with her family on a canal path when they were crossing Main Street in a crosswalk with a traffic light.

"A family, mom, dad and it sounds like three children were crossing the street going northbound when a truck, a full size pickup truck that was going westbound on Main Street came through the red light and actually struck one of the children," said Det. Steve Berry with the Mesa Police Dept.

The girl was pronounced dead at the scene.

Det. Berry said the driver of the truck, 43-year-old Maria De Los Angeles Castro Balderas, stopped immediately and was not impaired. He said it appears she did not see the red light at a mid-block crossing and hit Mendoza.

Charges are pending the outcome of the investigation, Det. Berry said.

Main Street was closed in both directions from Gilbert Road to Lindsey Road for most of the night.

"We had an officer who was at the intersection of Gilbert and Main at the time that the accident kicked out so we had someone here immediately obviously trying to render aid, obviously Mesa Fire medical responded but unfortunately due to the nature of the injuries they were not able to revive the child," explained Det. Berry.

No other family members were injured.

"Everyone was together. It seems that maybe the little one was just steps ahead of the rest of the family and unfortunately she was the one who was struck as that vehicle proceeded through the intersection," Det. Berry said.