Deadly La Mesa Crash: First responders and loved ones share thei - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Deadly La Mesa Crash: First responders and loved ones share their stories

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8/CNS) – A six-year-old girl remains hospitalized Friday after a deadly semi-truck crash happened on Wednesday in La Mesa.

Nancy Bauerlein, 57, and her 29-year-old daughter Jennifer Thompson-Campbell were killed when they were hit by an out-of-control big rig on the transition ramp from northbound state Route 125 to eastbound Interstate 8 in La Mesa. The crash occurred when the driver of a Freightliner tractor-trailer suddenly swerved to her left for unknown reasons while traveling on the transition road from westbound I-8 to southbound SR-125, the California Highway Patrol said.

The cargo vehicle crashed through a metal guardrail, crossed the northbound lanes of SR-125 and plowed through a concrete divider before colliding with a Chevrolet Aveo driven by Bauerlein, on the adjacent connector. Both vehicles then crashed into a Kia Sorento, after which the big rig came to rest jackknifed across the transition road.

Sitting outside his mother Nancy Bauerlein's Ramona home, Tim Thompson cannot help but reflect on the good times they shared. He said her family and friends meant everything.

“My mom and sister were the glue that held this family together. They were a big part of everybody’s lives. Whether it was in-laws or actual children, she was included with everyone. She made everyone feel special,” said Thompson about his mother Nancy.

Nancy and Jennifer were carpooling home from their jobs at the NAS North Island when the driver of a big rig lost control, went through a cement barrier and into oncoming traffic, slamming into their sedan.

“The initial hit of it really affected us terribly. We all collapsed on the floor,” said Thompson.

The accident also impacted another family as well. Inside the Kia Sorrento were Aneta Andarus, her mother and her two young children ages six and three years-old.

Sasha Sanchez, a registered nurse, was on her way to work, but she never imagined she would be helping save a little girl's life. 

The 24-year-old jumped over the center divide to help save Kristina Andarus. "I just heard her screaming that 'my baby, my baby isn't breathing,'" said Sanchez. 

The six-year-old had suffered a spinal injury, but Sanchez did not give up - even as the little girl stopped breathing.

"I know you are scared right now, but I need you stay with me. Squeeze my fingers if you can hear me," Sanchez said she told the little girl. 

Sanchez said she prays she will be able to walk away for this with bare minimal impairment. 

Aneta has been sharing videos from the children’s hospital where her six-year-old daughter, Kristina, is being treated for a broken neck and spinal injuries.

Her three-year-old is doing okay thanks in part to Heartland firefighter Ryan Lopez.

Captured from Chopper 8, footage shows Ryan pulling the toddler from the wreckage and consoling her for several minutes before taking her into an awaiting ambulance.

“It was just something I wanted to do, get her to be more distracted from what was going on,” said Lopez.

Lopez said he was doing his job the way all firefighters do, with compassion and intent to save lives.

“I know that rocking her back and forth and giving her a hug was something she needed in that moment because she was scared,” he said.

Lopez is a new father to a baby girl. He said the incident had a bigger impact on him.

“I think that is something we try to achieve everyday, just making people feel welcome, warm. We are there to help. That is one of the most important parts of our job,” he said.

As for the two victims who died, they both leave behind husbands and children.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Campbell family and also for six-year old Kristina Andarus.

The GoFundMe page for the Campbell family has raised $4,385 as of this writing. The page shows a picture of Thompson-Campbell and her family, and reads, "Jenn was a beautiful and loving woman with an amazing spirit and she was just eight days away from her 30th birthday."

The California Highway Patrol said drugs or alcohol did not play a role in the crash. They are still investigating to figure out exactly what happened.


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