BRITISH COLUMBIA

Dead woman's husband pleads for hit-and-run driver to come forward

12/07/2012 05:05 EST | Updated 02/06/2013 05:12 EST
VANCOUVER - A man whose wife was killed in a hit-and-run incident in Vancouver is pleading for the driver to come forward.

Nilo Tumanda told a news conference at the Vancouver Police Department on Friday that the couple's young children have been left without their mother.

"Yesterday I told my five-year-old daughter that her mommy was never coming home. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do. She still doesn't really understand."

Leonida Jimenez Tumanda's 10-year-old daughter is also trying to come to terms with the fact that her dying mother was left on the road last Sunday night.

The woman was walking home from work after getting off a bus near her home when she was struck by a vehicle that did not stop.

A passing motorist found her lying at an intersection at 10:40 p.m.

"She was able to say that she had been struck by a car, but soon after was unable to speak," said a statement from Vancouver Police.

Tumanda was rushed to hospital by paramedics but died a few hours later.

Her husband's pleas for the driver to do the right thing come as police in various Vancouver-area jurisdictions investigate a series of recent hit-and-run pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

Insp. Les Yeo said he understands the driver may be scared or worried about some regrettable decisions but it's important that he or she contact police.

"The theory of forensics is that every person leaves something at a crime scene and takes something away with them," he said. "It's only a matter of time before we find out who you are."

Yeo also called on any witnesses who may have seen the hit-and-run incident to call police.

He said 11 pedestrians have been killed on city streets so far this year, including five in just the last five weeks.

Last week, a 19-year-old woman was killed and a 21-year-old man was injured when an SUV struck them while they were walking on a Vancouver street.

Yeo said he has directed his officers to enhance enforcement around intersections and crosswalks and that Vancouver community policing centres are offering reflective wrist bands to pedestrians so drivers can see them better at night.

On Thursday, RCMP arrested a man in connection with a hit-and-run incident at a Surrey intersection, where two joggers were mowed down while in a crosswalk.

The number of accidents involving pedestrians goes up by 80 per cent in November and December compared to July and August, the Insurance Corp. of B.C. has said.

The public auto insurer is urging people not to wear dark clothing, cross at crosswalks and make eye contact with the driver when they're out at night.