Pittsburg police ask public to help find driver in fatal hit-and-run

Lyanne Melendez Image
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Pittsburg police ask public to help find fatal hit-and-run driver
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Pittsburg police are searching for a driver who struck a light pole and then hit and killed a woman who was walking down the sidewalk.

PITTSBURG, Calif. (KGO) -- Police in Pittsburg are asking the public for help in finding the driver of a pickup truck who hit and killed a woman on Sunday night. Witnesses say the man drove off after hitting 50-year-old Michelle Braz on Willow Pass Road near Mountain View Ave.

Pittsburg police say the man was driving a truck described as a silver 2005 or newer Chevrolet stepside pickup.

"She was just walking down the sidewalk like any normal person," said witness Robin Fuentes.

The Bay Point resident was killed just before 7 p.m. She was walking her dog along Willow Pass Road while toting a cart with recycled bottles and cans. According to police, the driver hit a light pole and then struck Braz.

Witnesses then saw the man drive away dragging the light pole for a few hundred yards.

"Then he dragged the light pole with him all the way down to the street," Fuentes said. "Then he lost it right down there by the car wash and then she was laying up here and then she had died."

On Monday morning, people who knew her came to put flowers and candles where Braz died.

Vanna Warga and her daughter saw the victim just minutes before she was killed.

"I was actually at the Tower Mart and we actually passed her as we were going to the Tower Mart and then as we pulled out of Tower Mart we saw the dog running down Loftus," said Warga.

Neighbors say the dog eventually ran home.

"She was really nice, she was a nice lady," said Warga's young daughter. "She would give us stuffed animals and toys."

Police hope the information given by witnesses will help them find the driver.

Bay City News contributed to this report.