BOYLE HEIGHTS (CBSLA.com) —  Authorities are asking the public’s help to find a hit-and-run driver who left a nun seriously injured in Boyle Heights.

LAPD’s Central Traffic Division Detectives are asking the public for any info that would lead to the identification and arrest of the suspect.

On Sunday, around 5:20 p.m., 69-year-old Raquel Diaz was in the crosswalk at Winter Street and North Evergreen Avenue walking to mass. A vehicle traveling southbound on North Evergreen Avenue, struck Diaz and continued south. Authorities said the driver did not stop to render aid.

Los Angeles Fire Department Paramedics responded and transported Diaz to a local hospital in critical condition.

The suspect’s vehicle is only described as a black truck, and there is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

Diaz is the Director of Religious Education at the Church of Assumption on Blanchard Street.  She has been a nun for more than fifty years.

The suspect’s vehicle is only described as a black truck. There is no suspect description. The investigation is ongoing.

On Thursday, KCAL9’s Serene Branson spoke to parishioners who have known Diaz for many years.

As they celebrated a Christmas service, she said hearts were understandably heavy.

” I’m so saddened for what happened,” said Maria Menchacha.”I feel disgusted. Who does that? She’s a human being. If you did it, at least be responsible for what you did.”

Menchacha says Sister Diaz taught her children and that the Church of Assumption is her life.

“They’re a group, they’re like family,” Menchacha said.

“She’s a hard working woman,” said Fr. Javier Alvarez, “she has a lot of heart.” Diaz has been the head of religious education for 25 years.

They would not release a photo of the sister saying it would be against their order.

Fr. Alvarez said he was inside the school and heard the chaos outside.

“Somebody came and told me they hit Sister Raquel Diaz. I run, I saw her,” he said.

Diaz, Menchacha, members of the community are asking the city to put a traffic light up in the dimly lit area.

“They drive through here like a freeway,” she said.

On April 15, the City Council amended the Los Angeles Administrative Code and created a Hit and Run Reward Program Trust. A reward of up to $25,000 is available to anyone who provides information leading to the offender’s identification, apprehension, and conviction or resolution through a civil compromise.

Anyone with information about this hit-and-run is asked to contact Central Traffic Division Detectives at (213) 833-3713, Detective Padilla at (213) 486-0753 or Officer Cortez at (213) 486-0766.

 

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