Family meets woman who tried to save loved one's life

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland
By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

PHOENIX -- One week ago, a Valley woman was hit by a car and killed while she was crossing the street.

Since then, her family had been looking for the woman who stopped and tried to save their mother's life.

Sunday, they finally got the chance to say thank you.

An anxious Bennie Martinez waited to meet the woman who was by his mother's side after she was hit by a car.

"I'm really scared because I've never been the type to say thank you to anybody, so I'm really really scared, but I owe it to her," Martinez said.

His 70-year-old mother, Alicia Martinez, was hit and killed by a car last Sunday while crossing the road at 12th Street and Northern Avenue.

[READ: Woman struck, killed by car in Phoenix (12/21/14)]

"The way she died was tragic, but I know there was somebody who tried to help her, so that's why it's so important for us," Martinez said.

Martinez said he knew a stranger stopped to give his mother CPR and didn't leave until paramedics showed up, but he couldn't find her.

The family had been looking for her for a week, and after going on TV asking to meet her, that time finally arrived.

Family friend Adella Garcia was the first to meet Helle Brand.

Then, Martinez got to meet her.

“Thank you so much," Martinez told her.

"I thought about you guys all week,” replied Brand. “I just wanted you to know she wasn't alone."

"I appreciate it," said Martinez.

It was an emotional meeting as Martinez, granddaughters and even a great-grandkid met Brand.

Martinez said he's learned a lot from this meeting.

"Just from what you did for my mom. I learned a lot. I really did," said Martinez. "I learned a lot because she would always tell me there's always someone who's going to help you, and I'd say, ‘No, mom. No no no.'"

"There were the witnesses who stayed, the driver stayed,” replied Brand. “There were a number of ways that people could have deserted, and they didn't."

Brand said she's glad to help and hopes talking to the family brings closure.

"When she took the last real breath on her own, her face was peaceful. She rearranged and was peaceful," said Brand.

"That means a lot to all of us. A lot," said Garcia.

"It was closure for me," said granddaughter Maria Andrade. “To have people out here who's like that that's caring. That's a blessing because not a lot of people are like that nowadays.”

Brand said she wasn't the only one there by Martinez's side.

There were two others giving CPR, and they stayed with Martinez until paramedics took her away.

The family said they hope to meet them, too.