Police: Two mistakes led to death of 10-year-old girl in crash

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AURORA, Colo. -- An Aurora family was grieving Tuesday after their 10-year-old daughter died in a crash Monday night.

Briana Rodriguez was killed in a three-car accident about 5 p.m. Monday. Aurora police said her mother turned in front of an oncoming vehicle at East 16th Avenue and Del Mar Parkway.

It’s a very unique intersection in which three streets converge.

The girl’s mother was driving southbound on Del Mar with a green light, then she turned left onto 16th Avenue when a minivan heading northbound on Del Mar t-boned her.

It’s this mistake and another that has left the family devastated.

Next to the shards of glass and a sheared piece of a Kia Sedona is the broken heart of a family.

Arturo Rodriguez, his wife and son brought a bouquet of artificial flowers and lit a candle in honor of their niece.

Police said the girl’s 33-year-old mother with her three kids inside turned in front of another minivan that had the right of way. The impact hurled the Kia on its side into another car waiting at a red light.

“The child was in a booster seat, but the initial investigation indicates the child was not properly restrained,” Aurora Police Officer Al Graham said.

He said Briana had not buckled her seat belt over her booster seat, which is required by state law.

“It’s hard for them. It’s the second child lost,” Arturo said about his brother and his ex-wife.

The couple’s 1 1/2-year-old daughter Cynthia died 6 1/2 years ago from a brain injury inflicted by a babysitter.

“She’s like devastated. I mean, she’s crying, my brother my mom. We’re all upset,” Rodriguez said.

And now a child a mother and father raised for 10 years joins her little sister -- a bright little girl who spoke three languages and had an equally bright future.

“She was happy all the time, always smiling,” Rodriguez said.

A split-second decision leaves a family with lifelong pain. Police said charges against Briana’s mother are possible.

They also said by law, children younger than 8 years old have to be in a booster seat and it’s recommended a child under 4-foot-9 also use a booster seat.

Rodriguez has set up GoFundMe page to help pay for Briana’s funeral.

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