Christmas Eve hit-and-run: Reward offered after woman killed

A Los Angeles woman who was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Christmas Eve while dropping off toys at an animal shelter was described by her niece as a selfless person.

Trina Newman-Townsend was a community activist who “lived a life of humanitarian aid and social justice,” Maryann Payne-Benjamin told The Times. The GoFundMe page, which Payne-Benjamin organized to raise money for her aunt’s funeral, said Newman-Townsend’s dedication is to “family, friends, foster children, or basically anyone in need.”

The 62-year-old was crossing South Broadway near 88th Street on Saturday afternoon and was walking toward her parked car when she was struck by a blue midsize sedan. The passenger compartment of the car was “significantly damaged” in the collision, police said, and the driver fled. Newman-Townsend was pronounced dead at the scene by the Los Angeles Fire Department.

A woman stands by the open door of a car wearing a blue-brimmed hat and a flowing pants suit.

Trina Newman-Townsend was killed while giving away toys at an animal shelter, police say.

(Courtesy of Maryann Payne-Benjamin)

Payne-Benjamin said friends and family would attend a candlelight vigil near the crash site at 6 p.m. Thursday.

There is a $50,000 reward for anyone with information leading to identification, arrest and conviction “or resolution by civil settlement” in this case. The reward is offered through the Los Angeles Hit-and-Run Rewards Program Trust Fund established by the City Council in 2015.

The number of fatalities in pedestrian accidents has risen in Los Angeles, with 144 deaths this year, according to data from the Los Angeles Police Department through December 3. A total of 76 hit-and-run fatalities were reported. Despite the “Vision Zero” plan, which aims to eliminate pedestrian deaths by 2025, they are up almost 20% this year compared to 2021.

Newman-Townsend was a mother, grandmother, evangelist and community activist, said her niece. “We pray that the driver of the crashed vehicle is found and that justice is served,” she wrote on GoFundMe.

Anyone with information can call LA Regional Crime Stoppers anonymously at (800) 222-8477.

The City News Service contributed to this report.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-12-27/no-suspects-in-hit-and-run-that-killed-mother-dropping-off-toys-on-christmas-eve Christmas Eve hit-and-run: Reward offered after woman killed

Alley Einstein

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