Mother pleads for justice in daughter's hit and run death

Melissa Johnson
January 2, 2012 2:50:07 PM PST
The grieving mother of a woman hit and killed by a pickup truck on New Year's Day is speaking out.

Tammy Johnson is hoping to help police catch the driver responsible for her daughter's death. Melissa Johnson was crossing South Saunders Street when she was struck. The driver of that vehicle did not stop.

"I just wish they'd catch him. It's terrible," said Tammy. "It's going to be tough."

So is the anguish of not knowing who was driving the dark-colored pick-up truck that hit Melissa and kept going.

Tammy says she last saw her daughter walking away from home on Summit Avenue and toward a convenience store on South Saunders Street last night.  A few minutes later, she heard sirens and then she got a call.

"A friend of hers had called and told me to get up there fast," said Tammy. "So, I got up there as fast as I could."

But there was nothing she could do. Melissa was critically hurt. She died of her injuries. Police say the driver of the mid-size truck left the scene.

Now, as Tammy mourns the loss of her oldest daughter, she has tough questions for the driver.

"How could you do something like this and not come forward about it," asked Tammy. "Why did you take off and just leave my poor daughter there?"

She also has a request for anyone who may know the person who was behind the wheel.

"To come forward please and just come forward and let us know any information they have," said Tammy.

"I hope they do catch him," she said. "At least give me a little peace of mind here."

Raleigh police say the pickup truck should have front-end damage. Anyone with information on this case should give authorities a call.

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