LANCASTER (CBSLA.com) — The parents of a two-year-old girl who was killed in a Lancaster car crash last week talked to CBS2 Wednesday about their grief and their loss.
Tina and Mike Ruano talked to CBS2 and KCAL9 reporter Serene Branson about how life has turned upside down.
Their ordeal began when police chased a suspect — namely Marvin Hicks — for driving erratically and recklessly. He allegedly ran a red light and plowed into Tina’s car.
Says Branson, “It will be a week ago tomorrow that everything changed for the Ruano family.”
Branson reported from the intersection where the reckless driver plowed into her and daughter Madison.
Tina Ruano says of her daughter, “She was only 2 years old and she’s changing people’s lives forever.
Add Tina, “The two of us are strong — but it is not easy. There are times when I sit down… looking at her socks. And I’m like ‘oh my God.
Tina is just home from the hospital. She was also pretty banged up in the accident. She cracked two vertebrae, her arm was fractured in five place.
Then, she has the broken heart — for her little girl.
The Christmas tree and lights, all reminders of their daughter. Says Mike, “We had to have tree lights on all the time. She’d say ‘lights lights.'”
Madison was born prematurely — they called her their miracle baby.
As she grew, she helped model mom Tina’s clothing line. “She was such a stunning beautiful little doll,” says Tina.
Tina doesn’t remember much of the crash. But she remembers asking for Mike’s brother, Chris — an LA County firefighter.
Mike was in Colorado, working as part of his job as a seasonal firefighter. He was choppered to the hospital.
The first thing he learned was that his little girl didn’t make it. Says Tina, “There wasn’t a scratch on her. No pain. Gone. God just took her immediately.”
Hicks remains behind bars. The Ruanos say they have no hate in their hearts .
They told Branson they only have immense gratitude for the overwhelming support they have gotten from friends, family … complete strangers.
A Facebook page for baby Madison is filled with well wishes. A memorial at the crash site overflowed with flowers.
“All those people love. It’s just love. They love showing love to us and our family,” says Tina.
There is a fundraiser Tuesday at the Outback steakhouse in Lancaster.
Madison’s funeral is set for next Friday, December 21, at Lancaster Baptist Church. And her parents want anyone who has been touched by Madison’s story to attend.