Jennie Russo was dying.
Suffering from pulmonary fibrosis, an often-fatal lung disease, the 93-year-old was spending her last days on oxygen and in a hospital bed in her Bristol Township home.
Deeply religious, she kept a rosary around her neck and surrounded her bed with no fewer than 12 religious statues and eight holy pictures, including one of the Blessed Mother that her mother had brought over from Sicily.
"Every day we would talk about all the religious statues, and she would count all of them to make sure they were facing her," her daughter-in-law Brenda Russo said.
But early Friday, the statues and pictures came crashing down - some of them onto Jennie Russo - when a pickup truck smashed into the wall outside her bedroom. The 2:30 a.m. impact left a gaping hole and filled Russo's bedroom with frigid air.
Police said they found the truck in Bristol Borough on Friday afternoon and are questioning a suspect.
"It was a total nightmare in that room," said Brenda Russo, whose husband, Ron, was home at the time and caring for his mother. "She had no idea what was going on, and the room was freezing. She kept going, 'I'm cold. I'm cold. I'm cold.' "
After Ron Russo rushed into his mother's room, she asked him for one of the statues, but the room was a mess, and many were smashed.
The firefighters and police arrived and helped Ron Russo move his mother and her oxygen tanks into the warmer living room. A four-inch statue of Joseph was found and placed into her hand.
Jennie Russo, who weighed about 58 pounds, died a little more than an hour later.
"Did the crash speed it up? Probably," said Brenda Russo. "That's God's will."
But, Brenda Russo added, "whoever did this had no idea what kind of damage they did or who was in that room. I would like to have that person caught or to come forward for what he or she did."
Anyone with information about the crash, which occurred at 67 Red Brook Lane, Levittown, is asked to call Bristol Township Police Officer Paul Shallcross at 267-812-3096 or Officer Paul Aita at 267-812-3042.