FLUSHING, Queens — Police are searching for the driver of a vehicle who ran over a grandmother, and kept going. The tragedy happened just a block-and-a-half from the victim's home, and has left her large, closely-knit family in grief and in disbelief.
"I can't really fathom what kind of person would hit someone and leave someone to die like that," Jae Yim, the son of hit-and-run victim Jum Sim Yim, 77,said.
She was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after being hit by a vehicle while crossing Parsons Boulevard around 7:10 a.m. Wednesday. She was walking home from morning mass when she was killed.
Yim's family described her as a woman who lived her religious faith.
"Very caring and considerate," Mimi Yim, her daughter said. "So this whole situation, this act, is just pure evil."
A wide-ranging police effort is underway to find the person responsible. Specifically, investigators went to the St. Paul Chong Ha-Sang Roman Catholic Church, which is at the location of the fatal collision, on Parsons Boulevard, between 32nd and 33rd Avenues. The church's surveillance video system apparently captured the crash, and investigators are trying to use that video to identify the car, and, they hope, the driver, behind the incident.
Meanwhile, Yim's neighbors said that she became a victim of a roadway full of drivers ignoring traffic laws.
"I'm very scared," Victoria Stiuna, who, like Ms. Yim, lives on Parsons Boulevard said. "It's not the first time something's happening there," she said, pointing to the boulevard in front of her house. "Something happens here [involving car crashes] maybe twice a month."
"I put my hand up when I cross the street," Sandy Mounsey, another resident, said.
She has to signal drivers to stop and let her cross "all the time."
"I might look like a crazy lady," she continued, "but I have to do it."
Residents told PIX11 News that the stretch of Parsons Boulevard between Bayside Avenue and Northern Boulevard needs more Vision Zero measures in place, like those at nearby Roosevelt Avenue. There, signs and a few roadway and sidewalk barriers restrict turns and traffic flow onto the avenue.
Meanwhile, on Wednesday afternoon, NYPD officers handed out Vision Zero safety reminder cards to pedestrians in the area.
The victim's family, however, said that one thing is most important to them.
"I just want peace," Jae Yim, the victim's son said. "I want this person [responsible for the fatality] to come forward so that we can have peace and understanding."
Police are expected to release surveillance video of the suspected vehicle soon.