A Davie woman is being credited as a hero after she died pushing a neighbor out of the path of an incoming car.
Now, sisters Sara Rivera and Lisa Huber are having a tough time wrapping their heads around how someone could hit their 80-year-old grandmother Emma Kelsoe and leave her to die just steps from her home.
“You don’t know what you took from us,” Rivera said. “And honestly, you will never know because you took away our family and the glue that held us together, and she’s gone now.”
According to investigators, Kelsoe was walking her dog and stopped to speak to her neighbor Vicki McCall on Southwest 18th Street near Pine Island.
Witnesses told police the driver of either a dark blue or black Toyota Corolla lost control in the 8500 block of Southwest 18th Street, in the Park City Estates mobile home park, and hit the two women.
The family said Kelsoe noticed the car and pushed McCall out of the way. But she had no time to get herself to safety and was struck.
McCall, who said she doesn’t have good eyesight, was taken to the hospital, checked out and released.
Kimberly McCall said her aunt has two fractured vertebrae and doesn’t remember much about what happened.
“She remembers the woman yelling ‘car!’ and looking up and seeing the headlights. The next thing she knows, she doesn’t remember if she blacked out or if she’s just trying to forget exactly what she saw,” McCall said.
Kelsoe’s Chihuahua, Rondo, was also killed.
“Her dog was her life. She walked this dog probably five times a day or more. She was always out walking this dog,” said neighbor Serg Lanook. “It’s so sad what happened.”
The fact that Kelsoe’s last act was heroic is some comfort for her family, but it does little to ease the pain of losing such a vibrant, fun-loving woman in such a heartless way.
“She was a great grandmother, four generations … they took that fourth generation. (Sara) and mine will never know their great grandmother,” said great granddaughter Lisa Huber.
Rivera said Kelsoe had just celebrated her 80th birthday.
“A woman died and my heart just breaks for their family. I know what they are going through and I know the pain that they are feeling,” McCall said. “I’ve never met that woman but I wish I would have because she most likely saved my aunt’s life. I am forever indebted to this woman.”
Surveillance video captured from Kelsoe’s home shows the dark four-door sedan driving by with two people inside, a man behind the wheel, a woman in the passenger seat.
Investigators will be looking to see if excessive speed was a factor in the crash.
If you have any information that can help with this investigation, please contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.