DICKINSON, Texas -- Two women who were trying to rescue a dog from the middle of a roadway died Sunday night after being struck by a vehicle, according to Dickinson police. One of the victims' children said she died doing what she loved -- helping others.
Linda Kirkland, 69, and her best friend, 66-year-old Martha Arvidsson, were traveling in the 4600 block of FM 517 East near Houston Avenue shortly before 8 p.m. when they saw a dog in the roadway.
The women, who were best friends, pulled over and were trying to help the distressed animal when the driver of a 2017 Infiniti came along and struck the women and the dog, killing all three.
Vehicles belonging to both of the victims were found parked, with flashers on, in the center turn lane of the roadway.
The 36-year-old driver of the Infiniti remained at the scene until police arrived. There were no signs of intoxication. Police said the area where the accident occurred is dark.
Kirkland's children spoke about their mom -- a kind, selfless woman who always helped those in need.
"As everyone is saying, she passed away doing something she truly enjoyed doing and who am I to argue with it?" her son, Sampson Kirkland, said. "She was with her best friend, she was doing what she loved to do."
Kirkland's children said this Saturday would have been her 70th birthday and they had plans to take her to the beach, but all that has now been taken away.
"Some idiot who should never have been driving a car decided to get on the road and kill two people," Leigh Ann Kirkland said. "I was told that he had an expired license and no insurance."
That information has not yet been confirmed by authorities.
"The whole family is just in shock. We are in utter shock, we're in disbelief. I think some of us thought this was some type of cruel joke," her son said. "I'll always see her not only as a parent, but like a best friend. Someone you can always count on. Always positive, always upbeat, always busy and, at her age, she had so many years left."
A gofundme page has been set up to help the victims' families with expenses. CLICK HERE TO DONATE.