Community rallies behind Dundee family in tragic accident on way to bus stop

Posted at 7:02 PM, Oct 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-19 19:02:39-04

The mother and daughter hit by a car on the way to the school bus stop Tuesday morning remain hospitalized in critical and serious condition.

Both are expected to survive.

Consuelo Cristanos and her daughter, Esmeralda Garcia, 7, got hit by an SUV around 7 o’clock Tuesday morning.

Investigators said they were walking on the edge but in the road when the accident occurred.

“You see it on TV and you never think it’s going to happen to you,” said Asucena Torres, the children’s godmother.

When Torres and the family’s other children first visited their loved ones in the hospital, they thought they had the wrong room.

“(Cristanos) face is very swollen. We didn’t recognize her the way she is in,” she said.

Cristanos suffered broken fingers, a broken wrist, knee, leg, and other injuries to the face.

Her little girl, Esmeralda, also broke many bones including her leg, jaw, and collar bone. She’s awake but in pain, according to Torres.

“They’re alive. We’re going to make it through this but it will take some time. But we’re all going to make it,” Torres said.

To make matters worse, the family is on hard times.

The morning of the accident, Cristanos received an eviction notice.

While half the family visited the two in the hospital, other family members returned back to the house Wednesday to start packing boxes.

Word of the family’s financial hardship spread quickly through the small town.

Donations jars began popping up at city hall and other businesses.

“When something like this happens in our community, I think it’s a testament to the residents of this community,” said Ryan Taylor, Town Manager of Dundee.

Taylor dropped off early donations to the family Wednesday morning. It brought Torres to tears.

“You don’t know how much it means to be able to tell dad that you can take some time off of work and not worry about your rent and not worry about what you’re children are going to eat or anything,” she said through tears.

That road to recovery is looking long and painful, but the family is now getting the support it desperate needs.

Meanwhile, county officials announced Wednesday it would conduct a traffic study on the stretch of road where the two got hit, but the school board added that it appears the road met appropriate standards for a bus stop.