“She looked real happy this morning.”
That’s how her stepmother described 26-year old Rosie Manzanares on the last day of her life. Just a few hours later, she lay dead in a parking lot, victim of a 78-year old driver who lost control of her car after visiting the hairdresser.
According to the L.A. Times, the Toyota driven by Angelica Cuevas accelerated unexpectedly as she was backing out of her parking space, hitting Manzanares before coming to a stop on top of her.
No explanation is given for why the car accelerated; maybe the car malfunctioned, or maybe Cuevas panicked and hit the gas instead of the brake after seeing Manzanares behind her.
Either way, an innocent woman is dead. And an older woman has to spend the last years of her life knowing she took another.
It’s likely to be a very long time before either family — the driver’s or the victim’s — will have another happy morning.
This is the 11th cycling fatality in Southern California this year, and the second in Los Angeles County — both of which occurred in Whittier.
My heart and prayers go out to Rosie, and her family and loved ones.
Update: According to the Whittier Daily News, Cuevas had stopped her car halfway out of the parking space, then inexplicably accelerated as Manzanares rode behind her; Manzanares was pronounced dead at the scene.
Relatives say she had borrowed a bike in order to return a bracelet. Her father said she was getting help for a bipolar condition, and was in the process of straightening her life out.
Now she’ll never have the chance.