Police Identify 5-Year-Old Killed in Santa Ana Hit and Run

Osmara Meza died and her mother and sister were critically injured when a driver slammed into them as they crossed the street to go to breakfast

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A suspected hit-and-run driver is in custody after police say her car slammed into a mother and her two young kids in a crosswalk in Santa Ana. One of the kids was killed, the mom and the other child were critically injured. Antonio Castelan reports for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on June 23, 2012. (Published Saturday, Jun 23, 2012)

    Police have identified a child killed in a hit-and-run collision in Santa Ana this weekend as 5-year-old Osmara Meza.

    Osmara's mother, Eloisa, and her 6-year-old sister, Gresia, were severely injured in the crash.

    The mother and daughters were struck Saturday morning as they were crossing the street to go out to breakfast, police said.

    They were in a crosswalk when driver Jessicah Louise Cowan of Frazier Park allegedly zoomed down the street at high speed.

    Cowan, 33, was arrested a few blocks away when a witness driving behind blocked the car in, pinning the suspect until police could arrive, according to Santa Ana police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna.

    He called the witness' response a "heroic action."

    Cowan is being held at Santa Ana jail on suspicion of felony hit and run, as well as driving under the influence, Bertagna said. She may also face vehicular manslaughter charges, Bertagna said.

    A preliminary field sobriety test led police to believe she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Bertagna said. Witnesses estimated she was driving 70 mph.

    The collision killed Osmara and critically injured her mother and sister.

    In video shot at the scene, Cowan is seen handcuffed and being placed into a patrol car. Her 2002 silver Lexus sedan had a smashed windshield and dented hood and front bumper.

    The mother and her daughters were crossing in the cross walk at 17th and Spurgeon streets (map) when a small silver car ran a red light "at a high rate of speed" and collided with all three victims, Bertagna said. The victims had the right of way.

    The victims were pushed 60 to 70 feet down the road, he added. A pair of children's shoes could be seen left in the roadway in video from the scene.

    "The suspect in this case showed no regard for the actions they did," Bertagna said. "This is horrific."

    Osmara was killed, while her 6-year-old sister and mother were in critical condition with head trauma, Bertagna said.

    They live close to the scene of the collision, he said. A crowd of relatives could be seen at the collision site.

    The incident was reported to police at 11 a.m.

     NOTE: The spelling of the names of the suspect and the victims have been updated.


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