Brittany Vega, 14, was walking to school, crossing Sunrise Highway at Wantagh Avenue at 6:20 a.m. when she was hit.
"We're absolutely distraught over our daughter's loss. It's not even real right now. Going through a lot of different emotions, but we just can't believe that she's not going back," her mother, Sandi Vega, said.
Grief-stricken family members struggled to understand. Vega was a singer, a musician and a ninth grader at Wantagh High School.
"I usually see her walking that way to catch a bus, but I guess today she must have missed the bus and she was walking to school," Caitlin Kaminski said.
Dawn was just starting to break over Sunrise Highway when police say Brittany decided to run across the street, against the light, dodging rush hour traffic.
A 2004 Toyota Camry travelling westbound on the highway struck her.
Gas station owner Ahmer Saeed captured the frantic aftermath on his camera system.
In the video, you can see the driver who hit Vega stop immediately and hurry toward her, already on the phone with 911.
He flags down an arriving police officer, who rushed to help, but it was too late.
"You kiss your kids. You come to work. You don't expect that. Parents are not supposed to bury their kids," Saeed said.
Brittany's friends made a pilgrimage to the spot where she died. They lit candles and vowed to remember.
"Everyone in school is just mourning the loss of the perfect student, the perfect friend. She was just all around great. We'll never forget her," said Michael Garcia.
The 36-year-old driver was not injured. His name was not released.
Police did not expect to file any charges in the case.