ANAHEIM (CBSLA.com) — The family of an Anaheim woman killed in a hit-and-run crash in the Westlake District on New Year’s Eve is pleading for the driver to come forward.
As Eugenia Pelagio, 47, was leaving a party and crossing 2nd Street near Beaudry Avenue around 2 a.m. on Dec. 31, 2016, an SUV struck her and kept going, Los Angeles police said.
“As much as I want to say I can forgive this person, I just don’t seem to understand how you can keep going,” said Avigail Pelagio, one of the victim’s four daughters.
Avigail remembered her mom fondly. “The moment you walk in the room and see her smile, you can’t help but smile back. She had one of the best smiles,” she said.
“She worked so hard all her life. She didn’t deserve this,” the victim’s daughter, Sandra Dzul, said as tears streamed down her face.
Pelagio’s four daughters said she loved animals and raised them as a single mother working as a pet groomer. She was a loving grandmother of six and the strength of their family, they said.
“We learned a lot from her. We learned to be strong,” another daughter said.
Pelagio survived a brain aneurysm in October.
“She fought for her life, and she made it through. And everything was going perfectly. So for someone to take it away in seconds, that’s the hard part,” Avigail added. “We understand you might be scared, and it’s okay. But just please, we need to know who and why.”
Although nothing will bring back their mother, the four sisters are remembering her smile and finding the strength she gave them to move forward.
Police said the driver who hit Pelagio was traveling in a grey SUV, possibly a Ford Explorer. And her family is asking the driver come forward.
Anyone with information about this crash was asked to call the LAPD’s Central Traffic Division at (213) 833-3713. You can also call the LAPD’s 24-hour tipline at (877) LAPD-24-7 or Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS.
Tipsters can receive a reward of up to $50,000 from the city’s new Hit and Run Reward Program Trust Fund.
A Gofundme acccount has been set up to help the family with funeral costs.