What to Know
- Authorities were asking any witnesses to come forward after a grandmother was killed in a hit-and-run the day before Thanksgiving.
- Her family didn't know she had been killed until arriving for Thanksgiving dinner Thursday.
- Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or at lacrimestoppers.org.
Sheriff's investigators sought witnesses who may have seen a hit-and-run crash in Norwalk that killed a 79-year-old woman moments after she had left her neighborhood market with last-minute items for a Thanksgiving meal she was planning to host for her family.
The woman, identified by the coroner's office as Marilyn Haight of Norwalk, died after being struck about 5 p.m. Wednesday near the intersection of Pioneer Boulevard and Lindale Street, according to Deputy Marvin Crowder of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Haight was taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, Crowder said.
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According to the sheriff's department, Haight left a grocery store on Pioneer Boulevard carrying groceries she purchased for a Thanksgiving Day meal.
"Her family would be arriving from out of town the following day, and she wanted to buy last-minute items for the occasion,'' according to an LASD statement.
"After leaving the grocery store, bags in hand, she began walking eastbound across Pioneer Boulevard near Lindale Street, when a (northbound) driver struck her,'' officials said.
The stamp on the store receipt indicated she had purchased her items just four minutes before calls started coming into the sheriff's Norwalk Station about the collision, officials said.
"With no means of identifying the woman, and no leads for Norwalk station investigators, she remained unidentified until the woman's family arrived at her house Thanksgiving Day unaware of the tragedy that occurred the day prior," according to the sheriff's department. "Concerned for their loved one, the family contacted Norwalk Station and the woman was identified."
Family and neighbors described Haight as a self-reliant and generous woman who lived alone after her husband died two decades ago. She maintained an immaculate yard and enjoyed tending her garden.
"She would share the vegetables with the neighbors," recalled Chris Barth, who with his life Phyllis has lived across the street from Haight for decades. "We just loved her dearly."
Haight had worked 45 years in Norwalk La Mirada School District cafeterias, according to her grandson Michael McBride of Riverside. He and his family were to have visited with her Saturday.
"The person that struck her probably went to a school that she fed 'em," McBride observed with painful irony as he implored the still unknown driver to surrender, and any witnesses to come forward with information.
Security video that surfaced Tuesday revealed that Haight was crossing Pioneer midblock, reaching the concrete center island, before stepping onto the northbound side as a car approached. Moment later, a blue compact car could be seen stopping briefly at the intersection with Lindale Street, even though the northbound light was green, before accelerating away.
Why Haight did not stay on the island until the cars passed remains a mystery.
Whether or not the driver was at fault for the impact, the driver does face consequences for failing to remain at the scene to seek or render aid, according to Sheriff's investigators.
The department urged anyone who was in the area of Pioneer Boulevard and Lindale Street around the time of the collision was to call (562) 863-8711 to speak with Investigator Boyer.
Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS or at lacrimestoppers.org.