OAKLAND -- It may have been the framed picture of four fallen Oakland police officers that the Perez-Maturano family had respectfully placed in their home. Or it may have been a tragedy that many of the officers on the scene that night related to.
Whatever the reason, Oakland police officers pulled together $3,000 for the family of 1-year-old Mahetzi Perez-Maturano, who was struck and killed by a truck, driven by the girl's uncle, on the night of Jan. 26.
"(This call) stood out because one of the things was these people had a memorial for the officers who were killed on March 21, 2009,'' said Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association. "It also touched their hearts, what happened."
The accident happened when the girl's 34-year-old uncle was backing his truck into the driveway of the 78th Avenue home where the Perez-Maturano family live. The front door was not securely closed and the girl darted outside behind the truck and was hit. She died on the scene but was rushed to Children's Hospital Oakland. Her organs were donated.
In addition to the $3,000, the police officers union added $500 and presented the money to the family on Tuesday. Earlier this month firefighters, police and the community collected $2,000 that went to the family for funeral costs.