'Extremely Protective' Nanny Puts Body in Front of Car to Shield Kids from Hit-and-Run Crash
A nanny is being praised as a hero after she used her body to shield two children from an erratic driver who jumped the sidewalk in a Washington D.C. neighborhood.
Marina Fuentes spoke out about the near-death experience from her hospital bed on Wednesday, telling NBC affiliate WRC-TV that even after she recovers from her injuries, she believes she is forever impacted by the hit-and-run accident.
"I feel like my life is ended," she told the outlet. "I feel I’m not going to have the same quality of life after this."
The scary incident unfolded in Mount Pleasant on Sept. 15 as Fuentes was caring for two children, ages 2 and 7, WRC-TV reported.
As the trio walked down the sidewalk on 18th Street NW, a suspect driving a stolen car — owned by delivery food driver, Denis Miranda — came barreling toward them, according to the local outlet and a press release from the Metropolitan Police Department.
Without hesitation, Fuentes said she risked her life by jumping in front of the car to shield the children.
"I got in front of the little girl, and I hear a bump in the back," she recalled to WRC-TV, noting that despite suffering broken bones after the collision, her focus remained on the children.
"I look down and got the stroller with baby and wrapped it with my hands, with my arms to my chest," she added.
Video footage released by the Metropolitan Police Department showed the suspect fleeing from the scene after the crash and running down the sidewalk. He has not yet been identified and no arrests have been made, according to officials.
The children were also not seriously injured in the incident thanks to Fuentes' quick actions, WRC-TV reported.
In the wake of the crash, a GoFundMe page was set up for Fuentes to assist with her mortgage, medical expenses and other living costs. A separate page was set up for Miranda, who also suffered severe injuries and is currently in the hospital.
Claire Keller, who organized the page for Fuentes, told WRC-TV that the nanny used to care for her when she was a child.
"She loves the kids she takes care of, and we all know it," Keller explained of Fuentes. "She is extremely protective of the kids in her care."
"She was basically my third parent," she continued. "I felt like it was my responsibility to take care of her the way anyone would someone they're that close to is injured."
On the GoFundMe page, which has raised over $28,000 so far, Keller said Fuentes "suffered multiple broken bones and needs several surgeries, but fortunately, the doctors think she will be able to mostly recover in about six months."
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As she continues to recover from the incident, Fuentes told WRC-TV that the support she has received thus far has made her feel loved and inspired to push forward.
"That's made me so happy and gives me energy too," she said.
Authorities are currently offering a reward of up to $1,000 for anyone who has information regarding the incident. Those with knowledge are asked to call the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department at 202-727-9099 or text the tip line at 50411.