California hit-and-run leaves 3 girls dead, driver reportedly fled without calling 911
While Natalie Cole survived, the young girls killed in the hit-and-run incident were Willow Sanchez, Sandra Mizer, and Daytona Bronas. They were all wheelchair users
LUCERNE VALLEY, CALIFORNIA: A 14-year-old girl has reportedly miraculously survived a deadly accident, but lost her three friends after a hit-and-run case in California. The driver of the car that hit them fled the scene after checking on them. Natalie Cole was making her way down the road with her friends Willow Sanchez, 11, Sandra Mizer, 13, and 12-year-old Daytona Bronas. All of them used wheelchairs. They were hit by a white Chevrolet Silverado from behind on the side of Camp Rock Road in Lucerne Valley on Saturday night, June 5.
The tragedy took the lives of Sanchez, Mizer, and Bronas, and left Cole in a critical condition. She was soon rushed to Loma Linda University Medical Center. Cole’s mother, Sherrie Orndorff said, “[Natalie's] leg was amputated in the accident, all her other limbs are shattered and her liver is bleeding, her kidneys are struggling. [Natalie]'s been my whole world.”
Is Wynne Lee suicidal? Woman accused in Aiden Leos death overdosed on pills
According to reports, after hitting the young girls, the driver and the passenger of the vehicle came out to see who they had struck. But they did not call 911 for help and fled the scene, leaving the car behind, said witnesses at the accident site who later informed the girls' family members about what had happened.
The witnesses reportedly also told the girls' family members that the alleged culprits seemed intoxicated. “You got out of your vehicle, looked at those dead and dying girls on the ground, and you ran,” Orndorff said of the truck driver and the passenger. Christine Cordova, Mizer’s aunt, said: “You're a coward. You killed three kids, you took their lives. You didn't just take them, you hurt everybody. And you get to go home with your family, and ours will never come back.”
Sanchez was Orndorff’s younger sister. The girls were reportedly spending the night at her place and just before the accident had decided to go out on their wheelchairs for a short stroll around the neighborhood. “My sister was a beautiful bright girl who overcame so much already. I don't know what to do without my baby sister,” Orndorff spoke about Sanchez.
Reports said that by the time San Bernardino County firefighters reached the scene, the alleged culprits had escaped. The firefighters found the three girls dead on different sides of the road and also discovered parts of the wheelchairs and shoes scattered here and there.
Mizer’s aunt has now urged the people responsible for the tragedy to turn themselves in to police. Cordova said, “This is the best apology you could ever give to us the family. I know all families say their child was good, but my niece truly was. She was only 13 and what was supposed to be a fun night at her friends, ended in heartbreak.”
She added, “She just graduated from the core cadet and we just paid for her Marine field trip yesterday that she now won’t be attending. Her goal was to join the Marines right out of HS and become something. She loved everyone and was outgoing and so happy despite her hard childhood. She was my baby, I was there when she was born, I named her. She hated bullies and loved younger kids like a big sister.”
Meanwhile, Jessica Risler, vice president of the Lucerne Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees, has set up a GoFund for the three deceased girls and Cole. She wrote, “Together with Pam Hardwick and the community, I am Raising funds to help to lessen the burdens these families will face in the upcoming days. All funds will be split four ways, used to lay these sweet little girls to rest and help our Natalie continue her fight to survive. As a community, we are all so devastated, there are no words to describe the pain, anger, and frustration we are feeling. We are so grateful for the outpour of support and kind words in this tragic time.”
Another GoFundMe set up for Cole stated, “14 year old Natalie is tha soul survivor of the hit-and-run accident in Lucerne valley that took the life of three young girls including Natalie's cousin. Natalie's mother will need all the support she can get to continue to travel to the hospital an hour away while caring for her two young children under five Natalie will need a new wheelchair and extensive physical and mental therapy going. Thank you in advance for your help.”