MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee police are working to track down the speeding driver in a deadly hit-and-run.
It happened around 7:30 Sunday night near 1st and Chase Avenue in the city's Bay View neighborhood. The victim is a 36-year-old woman who was crossing the street. Authorities have not yet identified her.
People who know the victim say she was a beautiful person with a sweet soul. They are heartbroken over her death.
Investigators say the suspected car is a dark 2019 or 2020 Jeep Cherokee with extensive front end damage. They say the third and fourth grille inserts are missing, and the word "Jeep" on the leading edge of the hood is also damaged.
"The impact was so loud that we, all of us, had thought that there was a car crash," said Clark Barton who witnessed the crash's aftermath.
Barton, who is a senior producer editor for the creative services department at TMJ4 News, was just feet away from where the crash unfolded. Sunday evening he and some colleagues were volunteering with a group called the Street Angels, helping people who are homeless.
"I looked up and that's when we saw the victim being thrown in the air. Her shoes fell off. Her hat fell off. Her backpack fell off," Barton explained.
"We called 911 right away. We went to go assist the victim as soon as we could. We knew it was going to be bad," he added.
First responders tried to save her life.
"Not only is it frustrating it's just very tragic," said Sergeant Sheronda Grant with the Milwaukee Police Department.
This case is the latest of its kind in the city's 14th district. On Christmas Eve, a woman was walking her dogs when she was killed by a driver.
"Irrespective of how concerned you are how fearful you are of what you just did you have a responsibility to stay there and report it to the police," said Alderman Tony Zielinski.
The community's message is clear.
"If you are involved in an accident stop. Call police. Render aid if possible. When you decide to flee or you decide to keep going you just increased your chances of going to prison," said Sergeant Grant.
"You took the life away from a young woman and you kept on going and you're gonna have to live with that. Do what's right, turn yourself in," said Barton.