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Family says woman killed in crash died pushing granddaughter to safety

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Posted at 5:28 AM, May 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-18 07:54:19-04

OGDEN, Utah -- An Ogden woman pushed her granddaughter out of the way of an on-coming vehicle, saving the girl but subsequently getting hit and killed, according to the victim's family.

"She sacrificed herself for her granddaughter, if that's not a hero than what is?" said Kyra Keffer, the victim's daughter.

The deadly accident happened Saturday at 9 p.m. on North Harrisville Road. The deceased grandmother, 48-year-old Leona Cole, and her granddaughter, 8-year-old Precious, had crossed the street to go to the grocery store and were on their way back.

"She was crossing the street and her shoe came off and she was leaning down to get her shoe back on and looked back up and they hit her," said Dza Cole, the victim's daughter.

Police said the driver never saw them.

"We didn't see any signs of impairment, the traffic investigation is still investigating that, but all signs are that wasn't a factor," said Lt. Steve Zaccardi of the Ogden Police Department. "There was no cross walk. It was dimly lit."

According to the family, Cole pushed her granddaughter to safety, right before she was hit and subsequently killed by the vehicle.

"She was holding her hand and more or less threw her out of the way when it hit her," Cole said. "My daughter wouldn't be here if it wasn't for her, she saved her life, and took her own, we thank her so much for that."

Cole was pronounced dead at the hospital. Precious suffered scrapes on the side of her body, and is recovering at home with her family.

"She told us all she remembers is the car speeding up and hitting her and then running inside and crying'" said Precious' sister Carrie Mansfield.

Neighbor Emily Wells was one of the first to arrive on scene.

"It sounded like two cars collided. I actually thought it was a car accident at first, I didn't know it was a person who had gotten hit," Wells said. "We all just grabbed hands and formed a circle and just started praying for her, around her."

No charges have been filed against the driver. Police say the investigation is ongoing.