The Los Angeles Police Department held a fundraiser Wednesday to benefit the family of two young sisters who were struck by a big rig while walking to school in Exposition Park, leaving one of them dead and the other severely injured.
Officers at the LAPD's Newton Station grilled and served food and collected donations on behalf of the Lorenzo family to assist with funeral costs and ongoing medical expenses for the surviving sister.
"I think this provides us an opportunity, as I mentioned, to come together to show there is a good relationship between the community and the police department, and that during tragic incidents we can come together and make a difference for those in need," LAPD Sgt. Marcela Garcia told reporters during the event.
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Marlene Lorenzo, 14, and her 12-year-old sister, Amy, were crossing a street near 37th Street and Broadway about 8 a.m. April 4 when the big rig struck them, police said. The girls had a green light as they crossed the street, en route to nearby Clinton Middle School.
Police said the girls were pulled under the truck and dragged until another motorist flagged down the driver.
At least one witness said the truck driver was looking down when he struck the girls, a suggestion he might have been looking at a cell phone, but the driver was not arrested or cited. The driver remained at the scene and cooperated with investigators, police said.
Marlene died, while Amy suffered severe injuries.
A GoFundMe page established for the family has raised nearly $25,000 as of Wednesday afternoon. The page is at www.gofundme.com/marlene-and-amy-lorenzo.