Aurora dad thanks good Samaritans for lifting car, saving wife and daughter's lives

Alain Kalala says wife still on breathing machine

AURORA, Colo. - An Aurora dad, whose wife and daughter were struck and pinned under a car while crossing Exposition Avenue Monday evening, said he's grateful there were people who stepped forward to help.

In an exclusive interview with 7NEWS, Alain Kalala said he was at work when he received a phone call from his children's daycare center.

"At first, I thought (my wife) forgot to pick up the kids," Kalala said. "But they told me my family had been in an accident."

Kalala said his wife, Kipinga, parked across the street from the daycare center because the parking lot was full.

He said she and their three children, twin 4-year old boys and a 2-year old girl, were walking back to their car when they were struck.

Kipinga and the 2-year old were pinned under a KIA Rio.

A witness ran toward the nearby Walmart to ask for help.

Sgt. Jon Kessler was working off-duty in the store and was on his way out when the witness told him what happened.

Kessler said he ran toward the car and got there just as another police car arrived.

Sgt. Matt Brukbacher jumped into action.

"I figured if we didn't get the car off them immediately, there would be some issues of breathing and I didn't know if they'd survive," he said.

Brukbacher asked several bystanders for help lifting the car off the woman and child.

"It was horrific," said Jeff Simpson, one of the good Samaritans who helped police lift the car. "Everybody was like, 'Oh my God.' We counted to three and we just got the car right up off of her."

Today, Kalala offered thanks on camera to everyone who helped.

"I thank you for what you did to save my family," he said. "I hope to thank you in person."

Kalala said his wife is still in the hospital.

"She has broken ribs, cuts, bruises and damage to her liver," he said. "Right now, she's under a breathing machine."

Daughter Angela is back home from the hospital.

She still has bruises and a bandage on the right side of her face. She also has a bandage covering a burn on her left leg.

"She was hurt by the muffler," Kalala said. "Because she was under the car."

One of Kalala's twin sons still has a small bruise over his left eye, but is otherwise uninjured.

When asked if his wife is going to be okay, Kalala replied, "I hope so. I believe so. In God, I trust."

Investigators said the driver of the car, Michael Lovato, told them he didn't see the family crossing in front of him.

Lt. Chuck DeShazer told 7NEWS that the pedestrians were not in a crosswalk and it did not appear that the driver was speeding.

DeShazer also said there were other good Samaritans who helped police but who wanted to remain anonymous.

"We couldn't have done it without them," he said

 

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