Police: Mom pushes daughter to safety, dies in Meriden hit-and-run; search continues for driver

MERIDEN — Authorities say a Meriden woman saved her 7-year-old daughter's life by pushing her out of the way moments before she was struck and killed in a hit-and-run.

Police say 40-year-old Dania Cedeno-Delrosario and Denisse, 7, were crossing a street in Meriden on Friday night when they were struck.

It's especially hard on young Denisse, who only got her family together recently. Her father, Marcos Guerrero, was living in the Dominican Republic before just recently moving to be with his wife and daughter.

Guerrero said, "She tells me, 'Dad I was unconscious for two seconds.  When I woke up and saw that my mother wasn't opening her eyes, I went to look for my grandma.' She said, 'Grandma! Grandma! We had an accident and mom won't open her eyes.'"

Around 8:30 p.m. on Friday Dania and Denisse were crossing Springdale Avenue on their way home to their Lewis Avenue house when a car approached them without slowing down. Dania was hit by the car and went flying, finally getting pinned under a parked car. But first, she saved her daughter, pushing Denisse out of the way to safety.

The family's landlord, Caterina DelMaria said, "I could see the grandma on the first floor screaming and screaming and banging her face. The little girl told the cops her mom pushed her out of the way."

Cedeno-Delrosario was taken to a hospital, where she later died. Denisse was hospitalized with minor injuries. She has since been released.

Police say the driver fled the scene but left behind a mirror and casing that may match a Nissan. Now Marcos and police are asking for any witnesses to come forward.

Meriden Police Sergeant Stanley Zajac said, "There is a 7-year-old that's motherless and we're taking this case very seriously, and we just want to get the vehicle that's responsible for this."

Police are asking for the public’s help in locating the vehicle. Anyone with information is asked to call (203) 630-6215. All tips remain anonymous.