A community is mourning after a beloved pastor and foster mom was killed by a hit-and-run driver on Christmas Eve in South Los Angeles.
A candlelight vigil was held for Trina Newman-Townsend, 62, on Thursday night, filled with loved ones who remembered the woman’s indelible impact on her community.
On Christmas Eve, Trina was delivering gifts to neighborhood children when she was struck and killed by a driver as she stepped off a curb at 88th Street and Broadway.
Trina was loading gifts into her car when she was killed, authorities said. The suspect drove away from the scene, leaving Trina lying on the road.
Her three foster children witnessed the horrific crime as they were waiting for her in the car.
Trina provided for her community as a pastor, activist, drug rehabilitation counselor, foster parent, wife, mother, local leader and so much more.
The scene where Trina was killed has now become a point of connection for hundreds of people gathering to remember her including family, friends, loved ones and concerned citizens.
“You see all the people out here?” said Phillip Birdsong, Trina’s friend. “She had a heart of gold. She was an angel. She was one of a kind.”
“Let’s love each other and appreciate each other while we’re alive, doing things for the community and for each other,” said Dwayne Newman, Trina’s brother.
“She was loved,” said Shadonna Brown, Trina’s sister. “She gave all of her own love, it’s a lot. Only thing I have to say is, whoever did this to my sister, just turn yourself in. That’s all we ask.”
The family has experienced its share of tragedy — Trina’s 12-year-old niece, Jamiesha Newman, was killed in a house fire in Whittier back in 2012.
No arrests have been made so far and the suspect remains at large. Their vehicle is described as a blue mid-size sedan with significant damage to the front passenger area.
Anyone with information is asked to call LAPD at 1-877-275-5273.