There's nothing more powerful than a mother's love.
Diane Aluska of Babylon, NY, pushed her 16-year-old daughter out of harm's way on Mother's Day when a car came barreling towards them on a sidewalk in neighboring Lindenhurst.
Driver Ann Riolo, 80, had just pulled out of a bakery parking lot and thought she had put her Toyota Corolla in drive, but still had the vehicle in reverse. Diane and her daughter Jenna had visited the bakery after attending mass at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church.
After pushing Jenna out of the way, Diane took the brunt of the collision. Both women were transported to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip, where Jenna was listed in stable condition. “There is no doubt she saved her daughter’s life,” Suffolk County Police Detective Sgt. James Murphy said of the 55-year-old mother.
Late Sunday, Jenna's father, Kenneth Aluska, told the New York Post that his daughter didn't know her mother had been killed. Photos on Diane's Facebook page show her proudly posing alongside her family.
Riolo was also taken to the hospital with minor injuries, and isn't expected to be criminally charged. “This appears to be non-criminal, a tragic accident,” Murphy said. “We are taking the car in to investigate, but it appears to be non-criminal.”
Babylon Town Supervisor Rich Schaffer released a statement after the crash. "Our Town of Babylon family is heart broken as we mourn the death of Diane Aluska who was tragically killed this morning," he said. "Diane was a valued member of our Town Clerk's Office where she served residents of the town with dedication, compassion and a big smile. We are keeping her daughter, Jenna and her family in our thoughts and prayers."
What a devastating tragedy. Our thoughts are with the Aluskas as they continue to grieve.