The story of a 2-year-old girl hit by a truck and killed in a Salem parking lot has touched the hearts of prisoners in her hometown.
Inmates at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem have gathered up funds to ensure Erika Meza has a proper gravestone.
Her mother, Martha, lost her job after her daughter's death. The Statesman Journal reports that inmates at the prison saw the story of Meza's death and different groups inside the prison started collecting donations.
A $670 check was cut last week and has been delivered to Virgil T. Golden's Funeral Service. The funeral company believes that money will cover the marker and installation at the cemetery.
Timothy Espinoza, treasurer of the Chicano Club inside the prison says they don't have a lot of money themselves, but wanted to help. Prisoners who make between $40 and $100 a month donated as much as they could, sometimes as much as $20, Espinoza said.
Stoneridge Apartments in Salem, where a 2-year-old girl was hit and killed by a tenant who then ran. The driver of the truck that killed Meza, Juan Lopez-Perez, pleaded guilty in December
to failing to perform the duties of a driver in a crash. Defense attorney Steven Walls said his client left the scene Nov. 24 because a crowd was gathering, he feared for his safety and he was in the country illegally.