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Mother killed by truck after pushing children out of way

SAN DIEGO — A woman who was walking two children to school died Wednesday morning after she was hit by an SDG&E truck while crossing the street, police said.

Ana HerreraThe accident happened at about 7:40 a.m. in the 3900 block of Cottonwood Street in the Shelltown neighborhood of San Diego. Ana Herrera, 37, was crossing the street in the middle of the block with her 5-year-old daughter, Anahi, and Jaslene Arias, a 4-year-old neighbor, Jaslene’s mother Raquel Arias told Fox 5 News. They were headed to nearby Balboa Elementary School, a walk they made every day, Arias said.

An SDG&E pickup came down the street and Herrera pushed the children out of the way before she was hit, police said. She was pinned beneath the Chevrolet pickup owned by the utility. Several neighbors heard the accident and lifted the truck off of the woman, Arias said.   Someone attempted to administer CPR until an ambulance arrived, according to police.

Herrera was taken to UCSD Medical Center and died shortly after arriving.

The two girls were taken to Rady Children’s Hospital. Anahi Herrera was in the intensive care unit being treated for a pelvic fracture and liver damage, Arias said. Jaslene was treated for scrapes, bruises and other with minor injuries, her mother added.

“I’m hurt…her life was taken away too soon,” said Arias. “I’m thankful that she saved our little girls.”

The accident was under investigation, but police said the pickup did not appear to be speeding when it hit the woman.The 55-year-old man who was driving, an SDG&E employee, had just turned onto Cottonwood Street from a side street before the collision, according to investigators.

“This is a devastating accident and our hearts and prayers go out to the family of the victim,” SDG&E said in a statement. “Safety is at the foundation of who we are as a company – from initial employee training to the construction, operation and maintenance of our facilities and the service provided to our customers. We are holding a safety stand down with employees to underscore our commitment to employee and public safety.”