SANTA ANA (CBS) — The family of a little girl killed in a hit-and-run crash has been devastated further by people who are trying to profit from her death.
Neighbors say they’ve seen people stealing from a donation box at a makeshift shrine for 5-year-old Osmara Meza, set up at the site of the crash.
The victims family said they’ve also heard that people have been collecting money on their behalf and then keeping the money.
“We’ve heard — we’re not sure who it is — but we’ve heard that there’s been people making their own boxes at home, going around down the street, collecting money but taking it home. We don’t know who they are. They are saying they are relatives, from what we hear, but we don’t know these people,” said the victim’s cousin Anna Camacho.
Santa Ana police are investigating the reports and recommend that, if people want to help the family, they donate through a fund set up by the police department online: http://www.sapdf.org/tragedy/
The deadly accident occurred Saturday while Osmara and her family were walking from their home to Norms restaurant for pancakes — something the 5-year-old victim loved. Jessica Louise Cowan, 33, reportedly ran a red light and struck the family with her vehicle, Santa Ana police said.
Cowan was booked on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated, DUI and hit and run, police reported.
Osmara died at the scene, her 7-year-old sister was badly injured and their mother went into a coma and remains on life support.
The little girls’ father said his life has been devastated.
Neighbors have been trying to help raise money for Osmara’s funeral. They say they’re shocked anyone would prey on this family, especially after they’ve suffered so much already.
“It breaks our heart because we’ve tried so hard, we’ve been doing so many things. Everyone’s been helping out, the whole community. But yet there’s people, I guess, these kind of things don’t get to them. It’s just sad. Our whole family is kind of disappointed,” Camacho said.