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Woman Dies Saving Her Baby's Life

August 15, 2004|From Times Staff Reports

A mother saved her baby's life by pushing the infant's stroller off a Pasadena street seconds before the woman was hit and killed by a sport utility vehicle, police said Saturday.

Amilia Vargas, 34, was crossing Orange Grove Boulevard at Garfield Avenue about 6:30 p.m. when the Nissan Pathfinder barreled toward her and her two children, said Pasadena Police Lt. John Perez.

Vargas was returning home after shopping at a nearby market with her 7-month-old daughter, Alexis Ramos, and daughter, Elizabeth, 7.

Vargas died at Huntington Memorial Hospital. Elizabeth was in serious condition at the hospital, where she was being treated for head injuries. Alexis was not hurt.

Police arrested Shannon Maria Williams, 33, a block away from the accident site on suspicion of felony hit and run and she is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail, Perez said. The 1997 Nissan Pathfinder she was allegedly driving was found in a nearby driveway.

Dozens of friends and neighbors stopped at a memorial near the crash site.

They gathered around pictures and flowers, collecting money for Vargas' five children and her husband, Jaime, a restaurant worker.

They remembered Vargas as a friendly woman who always took her children to a park just blocks from where she was killed.

"She would always smile," neighbor Dora Gardea said.

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