Mother who died shielding children from out-of-control SUV remembered as hero

PORT RICHMOND (WPVI) -- A local mother who was killed protecting her own children was remembered Sunday.

It was one year ago when an SUV jumped the curb and barreled towards Rosa Rojas and her two children. Rojas pushed her daughter out of the way and died shielding her then 7-year-old son.

10-year-old Leani Perez gets emotion thinking about how her mother saved her and her brother's lives.

"It's been really hard to have a summer without my mom," she said. "I love you mom and I miss you."

In the very spot where the 28-year-old mother drew her last breath, a crowd of family and friends gathered Sunday night to remember the woman they call a hero.

"I know she's up there in heaven," said Eugenio Rojas. "But she should be here with us."

Charged with vehicular homicide, Police say 39-year-old Ryan McHugh was driving drunk.

Her family is closely following the case.

"He took a guilty plea. He's leaving it to the judge's mercy, so hopefully the judge will give him what he deserves," said Rojas. "She is truly missed. Every day is a struggle to be without her. We want everyone to be safe, so that nobody has to go through the tragedy and hurt that we're going through."

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