FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – There is sadness from South Florida to Boston after a car accident killed a pregnant woman in Fort Lauderdale Sunday afternoon.
The woman, Alanna Demella, and her husband, Michael, had won a trip to South Florida through their church. They attended a marriage conference and decided to stay in Fort Lauderdale an extra day.
It would be a fateful decision.
According to Fort Lauderdale police, Demella, was in a bathroom at a poolside cabana at the Riverside Hotel at 600 E. Las Olas Boulevard. Investigators say Rosa Rivera Kim, 34, was driving on SE 4th Street when she lost control at a curve in the road, slammed through a fence and into a cabana building where it knocked down two pillars, according to police.
Demella, who was seven months pregnant, was inside the bathroom in the cabana. She along with her unborn child were killed.
Michael was in an adjoining restroom and suffered cuts and bruises.
The couple’s pastor, Michael Davis, said the couple could barely wait to bring their son into the world.
“If you asked her what she was most excited about in life, it was to be a mom and to experience that with Michael.” Davis told WBZ in Boston. “She was super excited to be a mom.”
Davis said Michael told him he was powerless to help.
“It was painful to see,” Davis said. “He couldn’t get to his wife in time and she was gone.”
Fort Lauderdale Police say the driver of car was taken to Broward General Medical Center with minor injuries. Police said the driver has spoken with detectives.
“She does not recall the crash,” Detective DeAnna Garcia told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “She doesn’t recall the incident. All she remembers is being taken out of her vehicle.”
Ft. Lauderdale police continue to investigate the case and said if this becomes a criminal investigation they may request toxicology reports on the driver. No charges have been filed.
Witnesses at the cabana said they tried to help.
“It was shocking, just sitting there minding your own business and one almighty bang,” said hotel guest Joanne Gordon.
She and her husband rushed to help when the car came crashing into the building. They say the woman’s husband, Michael Demella, came out of the men’s room just feet away from his wife.
“He was just saying my wife’s in there, why did this happen, why did this happen?” said witness Darren Gordon.
The Gordons and other hotel guests tried to reach the Demella.
“We all converged trying to rip some of the debris apart to get to the woman. I think it was too late,” lamented Darren.
Mike Riemondi took her pulse and told CBS4′s Natalia Zea he believes she was killed instantly.
“I went and smashed the door, top of the door and she was laying there dead,” said Riemondi.
“That must have been really hard to see,” said Zea.
“Yeah, it’s still bugging me a little bit. Quite a bit,” said Riemondi.
According to CBSBoston.com Alanna Demella was third grade teacher’s assisant who worked with special education students at an elementary school in Arlington, Mass. On her Twitter page she described herself as “a wife,
teacher and follower of Jesus.”
The pastor, Davis, said the couple won the trip because of Alanna’s dedication to her faith.
“I had people write how would this be a blessing to their marriage,” Davis said. “The way Alanna had written — she was so excited about her marriage. They wanted one last vacation before their son came.”
Davis said this couple was focused on their family and their faith and there is heartbreak for a man who lost so much.
“They’ve had baby showers, baby gifts, baby clothing,” Davis said. “He’s going to come to a house that is ready to embrace a new family member. The pain of walking into a house without his best friend, it’s going to be devastating.”