It was 12:28 p.m. EDT (I looked at the clock), and we were the first car waiting at a traffic light in after getting coffee in a plaza in Dunkin' Donuts. We were in a lane to turn left onto a main state route (197) and there was a truck across the street from us, planning to turn left.
To our right we noticed a woman holding the hand of a 2 year old girl waiting for the light to turn. For some reason, I had a feeling of dread that there was going to be an accident. When the lights turned red on the main street (197), the "Walk Light," came on so she could safely cross, we saw her look at the stopped traffic and proceed to walk across the street with the little girl.
The light for us and the truck across the street (on the cross street, Old Chapel Road) turned green, and it seemed that immediately the truck driver gunned it and turned left onto the the main street (197), immediately hitting the grandmother and causing her to fly in the air over the hood of the truck.
To our horror, was also saw the little girl run over by the truck's back wheels as we sat in shock in our vehicle still stopped at the light. Traffic stopped. People ran out of their cars to attend to the woman and her grand-daughter. One man picked up the little girl who was laying in the street, put her in his arms and brought her to the sidewalk.
DIFFERENT REACTIONS -
Meanwhile, I didn't move our vehicle because of the traffic stopped on (route 197) the main street. Of course, there always has to be one ass, and a big middle aged man in an $80K SUV behind me blew his horn several times. I got out of our vehicle and he opened his SUV's window. I told him that 2 people were just struck by a truck and we couldn't move. He responded by saying, "It ain't my effing problem and it ain't yours, so move your ass before I get out and beat the hell out of you." I was dumbfounded someone could be that selfish and insensitive. Then he told me to f-off and gave me the finger. We carefully pulled across the street of the intersection and parked and got out.
RESCUERS - By that time, rescuers of all races, religions and nationalities came together. I bring this up because we live in a diverse area and people get along here (unlike other places you read about in the news). A young man had taken off his shirt and used it to comfort the little girl. Three men and 2 women were on the phone calling 911 and / or tending to the woman and the little girl, and two other men were redirecting traffic to clear the street for emergency vehicles. Someone pulled a blanket from their car and put it over the grandmother, laying against the curb.
Tom and I watched in horror from across the street. It took 8 minutes for a firetruck and state police car to arrive. In that time, Tom heard the grandmother scream out that the little girl had died. We were in shock. We were stunned. We replayed the scene over and over in our heads seeing the truck go over that little girl.
We only know how we saw what happened. We think the truck driver's vision of the cross walk may have been obscured by the heavy traffic on the main road stopped at the light. We don't know.
We do know that a little 2 year old girl lost her life today after doing errands with her grandma, and her grandma's life and the little girl's parents' lives are changed forever.
We urge everyone to drive more carefully and not rush through intersections. Perhaps if the driver gone more slowly and carefully, this never would have happened.
Here's the local story on WJLA-TV News: