Mother of girl killed while riding bicycle says she is grateful for community’s support

The heartbroken mother of a girl who was killed while riding her bicycle said there has been room for gratitude amid her grief.

PEMBROKE PINES, Fla. – The heartbroken mother of a girl who was killed while riding her bicycle said there has been room for gratitude amid her grief.

Seven-year-old Sophia Guitterez was on her way home from Lakeside Elementary School on Jan. 6 when a driver failed to obey a stop sign and ran her over in Pembroke Pines.

Catherine Ortiz said she saw Sophia on the street shaking at the intersection of Northwest 136th Avenue and 10th Street. Days after the tragedy, Ortiz set up a fundraiser on GoFundMe and donors contributed nearly $14,000.

“It shows you to hold your kids a little longer, hug them more, love them more,” Ortiz said.

Sophia was known as a friendly 2nd-grade student who loved unicorns. The members of the Broward County School Board had a moment of silence to honor her memory.

“I just want to say thank you to all the beautiful people in this community who have helped us during this time ... knowing a lot of people are behind us helped us but it’s very hard,” Sophia’s mother said.

“All those things we are thankful for ... thank you for everyone who has been supporting us.”

Detectives identified the driver as Nicholas Matthews, 40, and said he suffered a medical episode while driving. The crash remains under investigation.


About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.