While police search for a hit-and-run driver, who struck and killed a woman in Waterbury, her friends and family continue to struggle with the sudden loss.
The victim, a pedestrian, was identified as 22-year-old Genesis Baez.
The incident happened Monday night near 49 Bronson St. Police said a Chevy Malibu struck the front end of an unoccupied Honda Civic, which was not occupied, shortly after 9:30 p.m.
The Malibu had made a left turn from Cooke Street before striking the Civic.
Police said the Civic then struck Baez, who had been standing near the front passenger side of it.
Baez suffered serious head and upper body injuries and was transported to St. Mary's Hospital where she was pronounced dead around 11 p.m.
Police said the driver fled the scene on foot a short time after the incident.
"We're tracking down some leads, again we're still looking for the operator who fled the scene on foot,” Waterbury Police Deputy Chief Fred Spagnolo said.
Friends told Eyewitness News that Baez had just moved to an apartment on Bronson Street a few months ago.
"It’s still hard to process, especially when you're with her every day and she's not going to be around anymore,” friend Michael Pereira said.
Pereira called Baez his best friend.
"She was loving, had no grudge against anybody,” Pereira said. “She was always smiling, that little dimple here, always smiling."
The balloons along with handwritten messages are tied to the porch on Bronson Street. While right below, there sits a small memorial of candles and stuffed animals.
Baez’s stepdad said for him, it was too early to talk, but described her as a lovely girl, taken too soon.
"We're going to get to the bottom of this,” Spagnolo said. “We'll get the answers on what caused this accident."
Family and friends of Baez said the driver could start by turning herself in.
"Please go to the precinct and give yourself up. She's not alive and we're not going to have her anymore,” Pereira said. “You took somebody we loved."
The driver was described as a heavy-set man in his early 20s who stood about 5'6" to 5'10" tall. He ran southbound on Cooke Street.
Anyone with information was asked to contact the Waterbury Police Department at 203-574-6941.
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