TORRANCE (CBSLA.com) — The daughter of a registered nurse killed in a hit-and-run collision on Christmas night shared a message for the driver in an interview with CBS2.
“Know that it could have been your mother. Your sister. Your friend,” Michelle Banzet, the victim’s daughter, said. “My mom could have been your nurse and you left her.”
Banzet was speaking of 61-year-old Kathy Cook who was fatally struck in Willowbrook. The crash happened Dec. 25 on the eastbound 105 Freeway near Wilmington Avenue.
Banzet says the last time she spoke with her mother was earlier that day. The pair planned to bake cookies together.
“It’s tough because we had short term plans and we had long term plans and now, I have to accept that’s not the case anymore,” she said.
Prior to the crash, Cook was driving to her South Gate home from a friend’s home when her black 1990 Mercury Cougar broke down on the thoroughfare.
The California Highway Patrol says Cook parked on the right shoulder and was standing outside of her vehicle when a pickup truck slammed into her and kept going.
“She would do anything for anyone,” Banzet said. “That’s why this breaks my heart so much more is because my mom would have pulled over.”
Cook was semiretired and had worked at hospitals in Long Beach and Downey.
Banzet hopes to remind the public to always stop if they hit someone.
She says she’ll never look at Christmas the same way and now relies on her faith to help her heal.
“My mom and I have been best friends since I could talk,” she said. “She was my whole life.”
Investigators are searching for a dark-colored truck with moderate to major damage. Anyone with more information about this case is asked to contact the CHP.