12-year-old girl dies following tragic crash | KOB 4
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12-year-old girl dies following tragic crash

J.R. Oppenheim, Caleb James and Kassi Nelson
March 23, 2018 05:28 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Albuquerque Police say the 12-year-old girl who was hit crossing the street near a school in northeast Albuquerque Thursday afternoon, has died.

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The crash occurred at Louisiana Boulevard and Natalie Avenue, just south of Montgomery Boulevard. Cleveland Middle School is nearby, and an SUV crashed into a fence at the school.

APD Public Information Officer Daren DeAguero said the girl crossed Louisiana in the marked crosswalk, but it was after school hours and the school zone signal was not lit.

One vehicle stopped to allow the girl to cross but an SUV in another lane did not, striking the girl.          

The girl was taken to the hospital. Police say she passed away shortly after midnight Friday.     

Motor vehicle investigators believe the crash was a tragic accident and nothing more. DeAguero said alcohol was not a factor but it's not yet known if speed played a part. Police shut down the intersection as they responded, but it has since reopened.

Nikki, a Cleveland Middle School sixth-grader, said all of her friends are in shock at the tragedy. She said she won't even use the crosswalk because of all the close calls she's seen.

"And I've seen kids almost be hit," she said. "It's not safe to cross and people don't pay attention."

A GoFundMe account was created to raise money for funeral expenses. 

Cleveland Principal Susan LaBarge sent the following letter to families on Friday:

Dear Cleveland Family:

It’s with a heavy heart that we share news of a deeply felt loss today.  We have lost one of our precious students.  As you aware, there was an accident in front of the school yesterday evening.  This morning we were informed that Eliza Almuina has passed away.  She was a shining star that will always shine bright.

We have shared this information with your child today.  District and School Crisis Team members, counselors, teachers, and other support staff have been, and will continue to be, available to students, teachers and parents.  Please contact the school if you have any questions or concerns.

As a parent, you may want to talk to your child about these sorts of tragedies because they impact each person in different ways.  How children will react depends on the relationship they had with the person, their age, and their prior experience with tragedy. 

Your child may exhibit any of the following normal responses:

  • Appear unaffected
  • Ask questions about the event repeatedly
  • Be angry or aggressive
  • Be withdrawn or moody
  • Be sad or depressed
  • Become afraid
  • Have difficulty sleeping or eating

One of the most helpful things you can do for your child is simply to listen to him or her.  If he or she wants to talk, answer questions simply, honestly and be prepared to answer the same questions repeatedly.

A valuable resource to support anyone in crisis (staffed by licensed therapists): 1(855) NMCRISIS / 1(855) 662-7474 / www.nmcrisis.com

Our thoughts are with the Almuina family. Eliza was truly a child that made us smile and she will be greatly missed.

Credits

J.R. Oppenheim, Caleb James and Kassi Nelson

Copyright 2018 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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