A man named Frank saw it all happen.
He told ABC 7 that he first heard a scream and then saw a car speeding backwards:
“I knew that I had witnessed something very, very tragic and sad.”
That car was heading straight toward a mother and her daughter. According to ABC 7, 55-year-old Diane Aluska and 16-year-old Jenna Aluska were walking back from a Long Island church service on Mother’s Day afternoon when the car came speeding toward them.
Diane saw the car coming and only had a split second to react.
Suffolk County Detective Sgt. James Murphy described to the New York Daily News how the mom reacted:
“Her mom sees the car jump the curb, she actually grabs her by her shoulder and pushes her.”
Diane pushed her daughter to safety, leaving herself in the path of the out-of-control vehicle.
Frank told ABC 7:
“I knew that woman was not going to survive, I just knew it.”
Diane became pinned under the car. Frank, along with other first responders, put the vehicle in gear and pushed the car off the mom.
Sadly, Diane died from her injuries shortly after being transported to a local hospital. Jenna was also transported to the hospital for nonlife-threatening injuries.
Police say the car in question belonged to 80-year-old Ann Riolo.
A spokesperson for the police department said Riolo had just walked out of the bakery when she got into her car and accidentally put it in reverse:
“She had thought that she put it in drive, she left it in reverse, hit the gas, starting speeding backwards, lost control and jumped the sidewalk.”
Sgt. Murphy told the New York Daily News that Diane saved Jenna’s life “without a doubt.”
Diane’s family has not yet made an official statement.