Police, bystanders lift car off woman & baby pinned underneath

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AURORA, Colo. -- A mother and one of her children who were pinned underneath a car after they were hit survived thanks in part to some quick thinking and heroics from witnesses.

The minutes were ticking away when Aurora Police Sgt. John Kessler, who was working off-duty at the Walmart at E. Exposition Ave. and S. Abilene St., was told the woman and her baby were underneath a car.

"The lady was on her side and had the baby wrapped up in her arms kind of holding her down," Kessler says about what he found when he got to the accident scene on the street near the store. "I went to the baby, she was crying. I tried to remove the infant from the lady's arms but she was pinned under, I couldn't move her at that point.

Kipinga Muanza Kalala was crossing the street with her three kids when they were hit by a car.

Within seconds Sgt. Matt Brukbacher was arrived on the scene. "I figured if we didn't get the car off of them immediately there would be some issues with breathing and I don't know if they would have survived, so I kind of hollered at some of the folks from around and I said, 'Hey, let's get this car up.'"

Jeff Simpson and his 16-year-old step-daughters were among several bystanders who pitched in to help the police officer.

"He counted to three and we just got the car right up off of her," Simpson says.

"We lifted that like it was nothing," Brukbacher says. "I mean it went up almost all the way up."

The mother was severely injured with head wounds and several broken bones. Two-year-old Angela had burns, severe lacerations and abrasions. The woman's two other children were not hurt.

"Just knowing that we possibly did help the little girl and her mom, it's just a nice feeling that they're going to be OK," says Nashelle Gibson.

The police officers say they were just doing their jobs, with the help of lots of good citizens.

"I had two people that were possibly going to die. I wasn't going to let that happen with me just standing there," Brukbacher says.

The mother and her daughter are expected to recover.

Police say they were crossing where there were no crosswalks. The driver of the car will not be charged.

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