UPDATED: June 29, 2012 3:54 p.m. EST

One woman is being deemed a true heroine after witnessing a hit-and-run accident and chasing after the driver in Santa Ana, Calif.

Eloisa Madrigal, 45, and her two young daughters were walking in a marked crosswalk when they were hit by a car and thrown about 60 feet in the air as the driver fled, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Madrigal's 5-year-old daughter, Osmara Meza, was declared dead at the scene, according to the news outlet.

Beatriz Jimenez, 29, witnessed the hit and run and followed the driver, Jessica Louise Cowan, the Orange County Register reports. In her Honda Civic, Jimenez eventually trapped Cowan's Lexus IS, cutting her off until police arrived.

"I got out of my car and I asked her, 'Do you know what you did?' And she shook her head," Jimenez told the Orange County Register. "She showed no pain or guilt ... it looked like she didn't care."

Madrigal remains in critical condition and her 6-year-old daughter, Grecia Meza, is also recovering from traumatic head injuries, according to ABC.

Santa Ana Police Cpl. Anthony Bertagna told the Los Angeles Times, "We consider her a hero. If she hadn't done this, we'd still be looking for the suspect, and who knows who else she would've hit."

Jimenez, a mother of three, explained that witnessing the crash made her think of her own children.

"They say I'm their hero, but I don't see it that way," Jimenez told the Register, "I just didn't want the driver to get away without paying for what she did."

According to the Orange County District Attorney, Cowan, 33, was charged with one felony count each of murder, driving under the influence of alcohol, driving with a blood alcohol level over .08 percent causing bodily injury, hit and run causing injury and sentencing enhancements and allegations for having a blood alcohol level over .20 percent and causing bodily injury. She also had a a canister of medical marijuana on her dashboard, according to the O.C. Register.

If convicted, Cowan faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.

How you can help:

The Santa Ana Police Foundation has set up a fund asking for donations to aid the family. Learn more here.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated Cowan was driving a Honda Civic. In fact, Jimenez was driving a Honda Civic, and Cowan was driving a Lexus IS.

PHOTOS:

Courtesy of Orange County Register

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  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Jose Mora, 11, watches as his mother Beatriz Jimenez tries to compose herself after visiting a memorial along Santa Ana's 17th Street for 5-year-old Osmara Meza on Tuesday.

  • Heroine Chases Down Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Jessica Louise Cowan, 33, of Frazier Park was charged with murder after hitting a family walking in a marked crosswalk.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    A photograph was placed at the site of a memorial for Osmara Meza, 5, at right. Her sister Grecia Meza, 6, is pictured next to her. Grecia and their mother Eloisa Madrigal are hospitalized. The memorial is located along 17th Street, west of Spurgeon Street in Santa Ana

  • Heroine Chases Down Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    A car races by the 17th Street location where 5-year-old Osmara Meza's body was thrown on a hit-and-run in Santa Ana on Saturday.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez and her family pays their respects at a memorial for 5-year-old Osmara Meza who was struck by a hit-and-run driver Saturday morning.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    A child's shoes are labeled as evidence as police conduct an investigation of the hit-and-run crash at the corner of 17th and Spurgeon streets in Santa Ana.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez walks with her family along 17th Street in Santa Ana, across from where 5-year-old Osmara Meza's body was thrown after she was struck by a hit-and-run driver on Saturday.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez gestures toward the crosswalk at Spurgeon and 17th streets in Santa Ana where a family was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Jessicah Louise Cowan has been arrested and charged with that crime, with drunken driving and with murder in the death of 5-year-old Osmara Meza, one of the three hit in the accident.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    On Tuesday, families step along the crosswalk where 5-year-old Osmara Meza was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver Saturday.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez recalls the weekend when 5-year-old Osmara Meza was struck and killed by a car. The incident also left Osmara's mother and sister in critical condition. Jimenez expressed surprise that she had enough strength to go after the driver.

  • Heroine Driver Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez's children pause at a memorial on Tuesday for Osmara Meza, 5, who died when she was struck by a hit-and-run driver Saturday.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez describes the direction she drove as she pursued the car driven by Jessicah Louise Cowan after a hit-and-run at Spurgeon and 17th streets in Santa Ana on Saturday. Cowan is suspected of drunken driving and killing 5-year-old Osmara Meza.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez visited a memorial for 5-year-old Osmara Meza on Tuesday. She paused to view this letter left by a friend of the little girl.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez looks back at the location where she saw a car hit three people at the crosswalk on Spurgeon and 17th streets in Santa Ana on Tuesday. She chased the car she says drove through a red light and hit a mother and her two girls, killing 5-year-old Osmara Meza.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Police officers look through the purse of the suspected hit-and-run driver. The woman was chased and blocked at the corner of 17th and Main streets in Santa Ana after she struck a woman and her two daughters at 17th and Spurgeon streets.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez pauses near the crosswalk at Spurgeon and 17th streets in Santa Ana where a driver hit and killed a young girl and injured her sister and mother Saturday morning.

  • Heroine Chases Driver After Tragic Hit-And-Run

    Beatriz Jimenez gestures toward the crosswalk at Spurgeon and 17th streets in Santa Ana where a family was struck by a hit-and-run driver. Jessicah Louise Cowan has been arrested and charged with that crime, with drunken driving and with murder in the death of 5-year-old Osmara Meza, one of the three hit in the accident.