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Modesto girl hit by Model-T while saving brother

June 20, 2012 |  8:21 am

A Modesto girl hit by a Model-T while trying to save her older brother from being run down on the side of a road is slowly recovering from a fractured skull and two broken ankles, among other injuries, her family said.

Ten-year-old Flora Ortega also suffered a ruptured spleen, cracked ribs and arm fractures in three places when she was hit Sunday by the 1927 Ford Model-T. She is recovering in a Madera hospital.

“She's going to have a long road to heal, but she's hanging in there,” said Julie Jordan, Flora’s mom.

Flora seems to remember only that she was buying tacos with her brother, Jordan said. But witnesses told FOX40 in Sacramento that Flora was concerned about her older brother, Gilbert, being hit in traffic along Modesto’s Crow’s Landing Road.

As Flora tried to shield Gilbert, she was hit by a 1927 Ford Model-T. Signs telling drivers to slow down are posted all over the stretch of road, but a food truck vendor told FOX40 that people commonly ignore those warnings.

The food truck driver jumped in to help Flora that night, taking off his shirt and covering her bleeding legs.

Jordan said Flora and Gilbert have a normal sibling rivalry but love each other very much.

“They fight like cats and dogs, but they're really protective of each other.... She's his little sister, but she kind of grew up on him,” Jordan says.

Gilbert, who was not hurt, is still shaken up from the night's events, Jordan said.

Flora's dad stayed the night with her at the hospital. He said she just wants to go home, but her whole family is just glad that she is still with them.


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-- Andria Borba and Cecilio Padilla, FOX40 News in Sacramento