New York mom Melissa DeLoatch was in a 7-Eleven parking lot with her husband and six children when a car came hurtling towards them, striking the whole family.

After running over the family once and going through the store’s front window, suspect Jason Mendez then backed over them, Dearly reported.

The children and husband, Shawn DeLoatch, were injured and Melissa tragically lost her life.

The reason behind the driver’s actions? Witnesses said Mendez was allegedly angered that Shawn asked him not to smoke near his children.

Now, Melissa’s family is mourning the 32-year-old, who was pregnant at the time she lost her life, according to Lohud.

SJ Deloatch/Facebook

Melissa’s mother, Joan Christopher, was heartbroken by the loss but said her daughter died a “hero.”

The mom lost her life while shielding her youngest child, who was in a stroller, from the car. Christopher revealed:

“My daughter, who is a hero, threw herself in front of the stroller — in front of the car. He ran her over, not once, but twice.”

Screenshot/CBS New York

She called Mendez an “animal” for running over her daughter. She doesn’t understand why he decided to do so. Christopher said:

“She’s a hero. She’s my hero. But it doesn’t take away any of the pain.”

Melissa’s husband, Shawn, has also been struggling with the loss. He is now a single dad to six children.

The father shared photos of him and his wife together to Facebook.

We said i do y u leave me come home to ur husband and 6 kids baby please i need u i love n miss u

Posted by Sj Deloatch on Thursday, February 21, 2019

The mourning husband wrote:

We said i do y u leave me come home to ur husband and 6 kids baby please i need u i love n miss u.

More than 150 people attending Melissa’s funeral, a testament to how loved she was by the community.

Mendez has since been charged with second-degree murder and seven counts of second-degree attempted murder.

He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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9 Replies to “‘Hero’ Mom Who Was Pregnant Died Shielding Her Baby When Man Ran Over Her Family at 7-Eleven”

  • Michael Bankston 2 years ago

    Parents have the right to protect their children; the father was trying to protect the children from secondhand. I do not allow people to smoke near me. Therefore, I would do the same thing as the father if I had children.
    If you ask smokers not to smoke near you – or your family – they will respect. Thus, the driver should have had the dignity and common courtesy to respect the man’s request. Was the driver intoxicated?Was the driver under a lot of stress? I hope he goes to prison because his actions were utterly unacceptable.

  • sm 2 years ago

    Dare I say it? – there might be an element of racism in this since she was white and he black…that said, this is SO very tragic! Sincerely hope this father has some family and/or community support. Six kids, uh-um..! Prayers.

  • Anonymous 2 years ago

    If you read the article two weeks ago it was a Hispanic male here illegally that doesn’t care for people talking to him with authority he even pulled a knife on police when they tried to arrest him for it. I’m surprised he wasn’t shot

  • Lance Merlin 2 years ago

    Michael, I’ve struggling with quitting smoking myself, and I will always respect a request to move away or not smoke around you. In fact, if I’m smoking and I see someone with children coming my way, like on a sidewalk or something, I’ll put it out or move away. But I must stress, not because I’m worried about secondhand smoke. It’s outside so it’s going into the air, but because I don’t want to be the bad influence that some kid notices and thinks it looks cool and decides to try it someday because of me.

    Now, Mendez, I wonder if he was an illegal alien.

  • Lance Merlin 2 years ago

    Anon, Read your reply after my first post. Confirmed.

  • Lance Merlin 2 years ago

    And how does he plead not guilty?

  • Darren Seabolt 2 years ago

    They should make smoking illegal.

  • Suzan Sharter 2 years ago

    I think why was he charged with “second degree” anything? Simple premeditated first degree murder and 7 counts of attempted first degree murder.

    • Anonymous 2 years ago

      Agree!!! He knew what he was doing. A vehicle is a deadly weapon used to kill this family and succeeded in killing two members of this family (mother who was pregnant)!!! Definitely premeditated murder in the FIRST DEGREE.

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