Memorial held for woman killed in Federal Way hit-and-run

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – A memorial service was held Thursday night for a woman killed in a hit-and-run in Federal Way.

Family members identify the victim as Karen Vargas, 53. She was a mother of four and a grandmother to three.

A statement from Vargas' daughter Amanda Larson reads:

“Our beautiful Mom. She was too young to die! She dearly loved her children and grandchildren, family and friends! She loved to be outdoors, was very adventurous and outgoing! She had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh."

Police say it happened Sunday at the intersection of South 316th Street and Pacific Highway South.

Washington State Patrol says there have been 19 deadly hit-and-run collisions to date in 2019. Over the last five years, 2018 was the deadliest year for fatal hit-and-run collisions with 29 deaths.

Police say the other driver ran away right after the crash. After investigating, police located and arrested him on Tuesday. He’s expected to face charges.

No matter the cause, Councilman Mark Koppang of Federal Way says the city reviews serious incidents to ensure safety.

“Anytime a life is lost, you want to look at the situation as a whole,” said Koppang, who is the Chair of the Transportation and Land Use Committee. “We always are looking at how we can improve our roads.”

The City of Federal Way has taken steps already this year to apply for state grants for future road improvement projects. This could mean better signage and lighting.