EUCLID, OH (WOIO) - Family members of the victim involved a deadly hit-skip are asking for the public's help in finding the driver of the car that caused the fatal accident.
Vernice Crutcher, 60, was hit and killed Saturday at about 5:20 p.m. police said. Crutcher was walking westbound in the road on Euclid Avenue near Grand Boulevard when she was hit from behind. She later died from her injuries.
"When I got the call and I heard [the police officer] but I didn't hear him so after I hung up, I'm saying to my friend, 'Oh my God I know I ain't heard what I just heard,'" said Kathylean Crutcher, Vernice's niece. "They told me to come to the hospital, my aunt was in critical condition when I got there it was no critical condition my aunt was gone."
Police have reached out to local businesses to obtain surveillance video that shows the road around the time when Vernice was killed. They have released a picture from that video, showing what appears to be a light-colored sedan speeding away from the scene around the time that Vernice was killed. Euclid police Lt. Mitch Houser told Cleveland 19 that the car in question was going much faster than other traffic in the area, speeding away from the scene.
Houser said the driver of the vehicle that hit Vernice should do the responsible and honorable thing and come forward.
"We understand there's situations that sometimes can be explained away, sometimes they can't, but whatever the case is: every and any victim in this city deserves justice," said Houser. "For Vernice, for her family, for her loved ones, for motorists and everyone traveling on our roadways and our sidewalks, come forward and let us work it out with you."
Vernice's family echoed that sentiment, describing their pain at Vernice's death, which is amplified by not knowing who is responsible.
"Anytime you lose a loved one is a very painful time, but especially during the holidays, it's so tragic it will always be a hurtful memory and Christmas will never be the same again," said Brenda Jean Beasley, Vernice's younger sister. "If it was your loved one you'd want someone to say something as well."