HAUPPAUGUE, NY (PIX11) — Five children were left without a mother after a driver ran into her, and then sped off. The tragedy is one of two fatal hit-and-run collisions in Suffolk County that took place within 15 minutes of each other on Monday night. 

Cherokee Fletcher, 28, was on the sidewalk, when she was fatally struck around 10:15 p.m. Adding to the tragedy is the fact that she and her family were just starting to recover from a tough economic situation, according to her fiancé. 

“Why can’t you take responsibility for your actions?” asked Steve Bartolomey, in a plea to whoever took the life of the woman he called his best friend, and the mother of their kids. “You left five children motherless, and a lonely man,” he said, after visiting the scene of the crash on Tuesday morning. 

It happened near the intersection of Motor Parkway and Moreland Road. According to investigators, a car, possibly a sedan, hit another vehicle, and then drove off the road, and onto the sidewalk. That’s where Fletcher happened to be walking. The car hit her, and drove off, leaving her deceased.

“She went out to get trip money for our daughters,” said Bartolomey.

He explained that Fletcher had been running an errand at around 10 p.m. Monday to get cash at a nearby convenience store for a school trip that their daughters were supposed to go on on Tuesday. 

Instead on Tuesday, the girls, and all of the couple’s five children, spent Tuesday with relatives, in mourning. 

“They’re devastated,” Bartolomey said. “Mommy’s not going to be around for Christmas this year.”

The family had been living at a homeless facility that’s steps away from the scene where Fletcher lost her life.

“All she wanted was to have a home for her kids to start a life,” her fiancé said, “and now I’m planning a funeral.”

The hit and run in Hauppaugue was the first of two fatal crashes on Monday night. At 10:30, fifteen minutes after the first collision, there was another, 11 miles away in West Islip.

It was on Montauk Highway, near Pease Lane. Police said that Tracey Dorismond, 32, was in the roadway when she was struck by a vehicle that drove away. 

The intersection is across the street from Good Samaritan Hospital, but that proximity was of no help. Dorismond was pronounced dead at the scene.

Meanwhile, at the scene of the first crash, on Tuesday morning, the victim’s fiancé returned to grieve. He said that his and Fletcher’s young family was just getting back on their feet when tragedy struck.

“We were actually a few weeks away from getting housing,” Bartolomey said about his and Fletcher’s situation. “Her worst fear was dying in a place like this, without a home for her children, and her nightmare came true.”

Suffolk County police ask anyone with any information about either of the crashes to call its Major Case Unit at 631-852-6555 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. The department said that all calls are kept confidential.