Juliana Ramos died on Wednesday near Fresno after being struck by a passing vehicle while tending to a car crash victim

By Gabrielle Chung
February 12, 2021 06:09 PM
Juliana Ramos
| Credit: gofundme

A California family is in mourning after Juliana Ramos, a 26-year-old nurse and mother of three, was fatally struck by a passing vehicle after she had gotten out of her car to help a crash victim.

The tragic incident occurred shortly after midnight on Wednesday near Fresno when a Hyundai Elantra had collided with a tractor trailer on Highway 99, according to a news release from the California Highway Patrol.

Following the crash, a driver of Nissan Rogue — identified as Ramos by her family — stopped in the center divide next to the Hyundai and got out of her car to help.

During this time, a red SUV drove between around the two vehicles, knocking Ramos to the ground and "causing fatal injuries on impact," according to the CHP.

The law enforcement agency said that the driver of the passing SUV stopped and stepped out briefly, before getting back into the vehicle and speeding away.

Ramos was a nurse who was pursuing further education, according to her family. She was also mother to three children, including a 4-month-old infant.

"She loved being with her kids. She's a good person, she had a good heart. She didn't deserve this," Ramos' sister Claudia Sanchez told ABC30.

The family said that they were getting ready to celebrate Ramos' 27th birthday when tragedy struck.

"Instead of celebrating her birthday, we're planning a funeral," her sister Laura Sanchez said. "It's heartbreaking."

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to raise funds for Ramos' funeral expenses as an investigation into the hit-and-run is ongoing. As of Friday, it had surpassed its $15,000 goal.

Law enforcement officials are now looking for what witnesses describe as a red or burgundy Ford Explorer-type SUV with possible damage to the left front fender and hood area, according to CHP.

Those with information have been asked to contact the Fresno Area CHP at (559) 262-0400.