ARTESIA ( — Authorities Saturday said an 82-year-old woman was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in the city of Artesia.

A statement issued by the Lakewood Station Traffic Detail said the accident involving a red vehicle happened on Norwalk Boulevard and Droxford Street around 4:40 a.m.

The victim, identified as Carolina Estrella, was struck in the crosswalk. She died just yards from where she lived.

Officials say Estrella — a beloved member of the community — was on her way to church where she helps deliver food for a food bank.

Investigators say the suspect vehicle fled southbound on Norwalk Boulevard.

The vehicle is believed to have sustained major front-end and windshield damage, according to authorities.

The elderly woman walked with the aid of a wheelchair.

Estrella’s daughter said her mom would often cook food from the food bank for her friends who were in need.

Esther Lagaspi, a nurse, is distraught that the driver did not stop. “I know you felt the hit on somebody.  My mom is not an animal. My mom is not a dog. My mom is not a cat. All you need to do is stop.”

Estrella’s family told CBS2’s Cristy Fajardo their mother would have turned 83 next month.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Investigator Chris Bronowicki of the Lakewood Station Traffic Detail at (562) 623-3500.


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