Connecticut Mom Dies After Pushing Daughter Out of Way in Fatal Hit-and-Run


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A Connecticut woman may have saved her daughter’s life by pushing her out of the way of an oncoming vehicle moments before she was struck and killed herself in an alleged hit-and-run, PEOPLE confirms.

Dania Cegeno-Delrosario, 40, and her 7-year-old daughter, Denisse, were crossing a street in Meriden on Friday night when the accident occurred, according to a Meriden police spokesman. The young girl told police that her mother saw an approaching vehicle and pushed her to safety, the spokesman says.

“We were walking and there was nothing coming,” Denisse told WFSB of crossing the street moments before the accident occurred.

She then described being hit by the vehicle, telling the station, “It pushed both of us, but it pushed her very hard.”

Denisse said she then ran into her home to get her grandmother for help, saying, according to the station, “My mom’s under a Jeep, a white Jeep, and someone crashed her.”

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The Record-Journal reports a neighbor, Giuseppe Capparella, called police after finding Cegeno-Delrosario unresponsive underneath the vehicle, where police believe she was forced upon impact.

“I heard a kid scream and it sounded like my own daughter,” Capparella told the paper. “She just kept saying, ‘Mommy’s dead, mommy’s dead.”

Cedeno-Delrosario was taken to a local hospital but passed away from head and neck injuries, the spokesman says. However, her family credits the mother with the fact that Denisse only sustained minor scrapes and bruises.

Family members said Cedeno-Delrosario arrived in Connecticut two years ago from the Dominican Republic, hoping for a better life for her family, according to WFSB. According to WFSB, she had two jobs, working as a travel agent during the day and caring for the elderly at night.

The mother and daughter were returning home from a visit to the girl’s aunt’s house when the accident occurred, according to the station.

Authorities are now looking for the driver of the vehicle that struck the pair, who allegedly fled the scene before police arrived, the spokesman says. A side mirror found at the scene indicates the vehicle might be a Nissan, despite Denisse’s description of it as a Jeep.

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