"She is truly a hero and will forever be my kids' guardian angel", said the children's mother
A 10-year-old girl has been hailed a hero after she pushed two young children out of the path of a runaway vehicle which then struck and killed her.
Kiera Larsen sprang into action after the Mercedes SUV began rolling down a sloping driveway in Lakeside, California, according to the California Highway Patrol.
She was able to push Adison, aged one, and two-year-old Emma out of the way, but was hit herself.
Alyssa Jenkins, the mother of the two children, told KGTV: "She saved both my daughters' lives, my two kids, and both could have been gone in an instant.
"She stepped in and did what she knows and that's to protect those around her.
"She is truly a hero and will forever be my kids' guardian angel."
Officer Kevin Pearlstein, of the California Highway Patrol, said: "A 10-year-old girl pushed another child out of the way of the in-motion vehicle.
"Unfortunately, while doing this the vehicle struck the 10-year-old girl causing major injuries.
"We're going to do an inspection on the vehicle, find out why this happened, find out if there was some sort of malfunction on the vehicle and go from there."
Kiera died in hospital after the accident on Monday.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to cover her family's costs and has so far nearly raised $79,000 (€72,000).
The post on the page reads: "Those of you who had the pleasure of knowing Kiera know that she is such an amazing, beautiful, smart and funny little girl.
"She truly brings so much love and happiness to so many people."