Doris Wilson’s family isn’t surprised she stopped to help a total stranger. They say that’s just the kind of person she was.

As CBS Sacramento reports, late Saturday night, Wilson and a friend stopped on an overpass near Stockton, California to help a man who’d lost control of his car and was stranded on the highway.

Screenshot/CBS Sacramento

As the 26-year-old mother of two was trying to aid the stranded motorist, a speeding driver veered into the group. Wilson’s friend sustained life threatening injuries. Wilson disappeared. Authorities believe the impact threw the young mom over the side of the overpass and into the canal below.

Wilson’s friend and the woman who hit them were both taken to the hospital. Authorities say that neither drugs nor alcohol were involved in the crash. On Sunday and Monday, divers and rescuers searched the canal and surrounding area for Wilson, but could find no sign of the missing woman.

Some family members have expressed frustration with the search, asking that more resources could be used to find Wilson. However, a representative of the Stockton Fire Department told KCRA News that water conditions have made the search difficult:

“This channel is full of concrete and different kinds of entanglement hazards. We had hypothermia issues.”

Family joined in the search, hoping Wilson might have made it out of the canal and onto the bank. But after two days, they’ve begun to lose hope that she will be found alive. Uncle Ivan Williams told KCRA:

“It’s hard. All we can do is pray. Just wish that God will let us know where she at.”

Wilson’s mother has said she plans on staying there until her daughter is found. She told KCRA:

“I love her and I know she’s up there with God. And her kids are going to be alright because God is going to be with them always. And I just want my daughter out of this water.”

What makes Wilson’s fate especially tragic is that she was trying to help someone else when she was hit.

Stockton Fire Chief Erik Newman told KCRA Wilson’s story demonstrates how important it is to take precautions when aiding a fellow motorist:

“We never want to deter anyone from helping. But they’ve got to look around and be aware of their surroundings. Especially on the highways. Pull over to the side, stay out of the moving traffic. Get all the way far over to the shoulder and call 911.”

Wilson’s best friend told CBS Sacramento that helping others was a defining part of the mom’s character:

“A mother before anything. She was a good friend, a good sister, good daughter. She came to everybody’s rescue.”

Wilson leaves behind two sons, a 1-year-old and a 7-year-old. Both the family and rescuers plan to resume their search on Tuesday.

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