MIDLAND, Wash. - The makeshift memorial is growing by the day with flowers, balloons and candles on 104th Street East in Midland in memory of Immaculee Goldade.
She’s the 12-year-old deputies said was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Saturday morning, while she was walking with her friend Kathleen Olson, 12, who survived and is now recovering from injuries.
"It’s really sad this happened the way that it did," said neighbor Megan Lennox who made a large cross with Immaculee’s name and placed it as the anchor of the memorial site.
Lennox told FOX 13 News she has lived in the neighborhood for two decades, and has always felt unsafe. The mom of two boys said she rarely lets her children walk to and from school.
"The one time he did walk home, he said he had to jump in the ditch. He almost got hit by a car," said Lennox.
There are no sidewalks on 104th Street East, and there’s barely a shoulder because of the large ditch that lets water flow through.
"Even at the elementary school, we’d walk over to pick him up every day and even just at the stop sign at the end of the road, cars wouldn’t stop. They’d run the stop sign. We almost have gotten hit twice, like this close from being hit, and my husband had slammed his hand on the hood of the car. That’s how close they were," said Lennox. "So you just have to pay attention with your kids, but it’s scary."
"I wouldn’t blame the girls for anything that they did or anyone that’s going to walk on that roadway," said Sergeant Darren Moss of the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office. "The thing that people have to remember is that this truck went off the roadway. So even with a sidewalk, that probably wouldn’t have prevented him from hitting them that day."
Kathleen’s mom said drivers need to pay closer attention behind the wheel.
"Sidewalks would be helpful, but if someone is driving erratically, that’s not necessarily going to make a big difference," said Rachel Olson, mom of Kathleen.
Detectives continue looking for the suspect in the hit-and-run crash, and the Goldade Family is hopeful the suspect will turn himself in.
Deputies released new pictures this week of a person of interest who was seen getting out of the suspect truck just a few hours before the incident at a gas station.
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