The grandmother of the 24-year-old woman who was killed in a hit and run crash in Hartford says her life has been turned upside down.
Now all she can do is hope that police catch up with whoever is responsible and grieve a loss she feels every moment.
Tina Fontanez was coming home with her friend Cathy Melendez after a night of roller skating when they were run over on Vine Street.
Melendez is in the hospital and Fontanez was killed.
On Thursday night, her grandmother said they don't see any light at the end of this very dark period in their lives.
“It's so many things I want to say about her but I just can't. What hurts me the most is I couldn't even see her,” said Edith Hernandez.
Even though Hernandez cries when she thinks about her granddaughter’s death, she can’t help but smile when she thinks about the person Fontanez was.
"You called her for anything and she would come running,” Hernandez said about her granddaughter.
Hernandez also described the way Fontanez would smile when she was called by her pet name.
"I’m like teenie come here. I used to call her teeny weeny,” Hernandez said.
Hernandez loved all of those things because they are what made Tina who she was, and now all of those things have been taken away. That's why most of the time these days Hernandez can't help but cry.
“He destroyed our family. How could he do that, and then just go hide. Then how do you live with yourself when you did what you did,” Hernandez said about the person accused of running over her granddaughter and simply drove away.
Police arrested the man who owned the car involved in the crash who was a passenger during the wreck, but the driver is still out there.
“How does somebody take somebody's life and just run and leave her there? Like she wasn't worth anything,” Hernandez said.
She hopes the driver gets arrested soon but Hernandez knows that no matter how long he spends in jail it won't bring her “teeny weeny” back.
“I always called her my special baby,” Hernandez said.
She'll think of her granddaughter's life every day, but it will be impossible not to dwell on her death and that's when the smile will fade and the tears will return.
“Our life will never be the same. That was my granddaughter like my life is not the same,” Hernandez said.
On Saturday at 5 p.m., the family will host a candlelight vigil in Tina’s honor at the crash site on Vine Street.
They have also set up a GoFundMe page to help with funeral costs that can be found here.
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