It is an accident scene that would send shivers up any parent's spine: A speeding semi truck slams into a minivan with a mom and daughter inside. They were hit with such force, it pinned them against a building.
The accident happened at the intersection of 54th Ave East and 12th Street East in Fife.
"We're praying a lot and we're devastated that this happened at this time of year,” said family friend Marji Tate.
The driver was arrested. Police say he ran a red light.
The accident left 9-year-old Annalese DeRosa in the intensive care unit at Mary Bridge Hospital with head trauma.
Her mother, Stephanie DeRosa. said this is the second time they have been hit by a semi truck on the way to school. According to police, trucks travel down 54th Ave East often because it’s an arterial to the port.
Her friends and family say it’s happened two times too often. They hope drivers of other 18 wheelers hear about the accident and heed a warning.
"To slow down and be safe because there might be a child in that car,” said Tate.
Tate is also Annalese’s Girl Scout leader. She says to make matters worse, the DeRosa family minivan was filled with gifts Troop 43602 had bought for two United Way families: a single mom with four kids, and a single grandmother with four kids.
"The girl scout troop was going to meet yesterday and wrap everything and get it delivered,” said Tate. “And it was all in the van. And we have no idea what condition it's in or if we can get access to it.”
So Thursday, parents from Annalese’s school, All Saints School, answered the call. In just two hours, they started rounding up toys, clothes, and household items to replace those lost in the accident. They are dropping them off at the Puerta Vallarta restaurant at 215 15th Street Southeast, Puyallup.
The two families do not just need toys, but they need winter clothing and jackets. The kids from both families range in ages from 2 to 14. The troop has organized a drop-off for the gifts on Saturday, December 15th, from 12-3p.m. at Bradley Lake Park at 531 31st Ave SE in Puyallup, in the west parking lot.
If you would like to help or want a full shopping list, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.