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Teacher Killed in Hit-and-Run Crash on Interstate 5

A desperate plea for help from the family of a teacher killed in a hit-and-run on Interstate 5. Janelle Jovellanos, 29, was coming from Los Angeles to see her family in Roseville when she was sideswiped near Coalinga.

The CHP is now looking for the driver they believed caused Jovellanos to head into oncoming traffic.

While the family is dealing with Janelle's loss, they're asking the person who may have caused her death to come forward.

"She was the most selfless person I knew," said Jan Michael Jovellanos, Janelle's brother.

Jan Michael Jovellanos said his sister, Janelle Jovellanos, was driving to Roseville from her home in Los Angeles on Saturday to celebrate her aunt's 60th birthday.

"It was also my mom's birthday, the day before, on the 28th," Jan Michael Jovellanos said.

But the second-grade teacher never arrived. That morning her car was struck by oncoming traffic. The CHP says someone else caused the accident.

"I believe she was in the left lane, probably, and this red, four-door sedan sideswiped her," Jan Michael Jovellanos said.

That caused her to lose control and sent her car across the median. The red sedan did not stop.

"I don't see how you wouldn't know, you know?" Jan Michael Jovellanos said.

"It's never going to settle with me, knowing just the fact that that person is still out there, you know," he said.

Jovellanos' family now hopes that driver turns him- or herself in.

"If I could say anything to this person, whoever it is, please come forward..." said Ivan Natividad, Janelle's cousin.

"Give us that closure, please," he said.

Janelle graduated from Berkeley with a psychology degree, later getting her masters from the University of the Pacific.

After teaching English in Korea, she soon gravitated toward that profession -- teaching underprivileged students, first with kindergartners in Oakland's inner city, and most recently the second grade in Los Angeles.

"She could have done anything, she was such an intelligent person, and she just had such a passion to guide the next generations of people," Natividad said.

If the driver does not come forward, her family hopes witnesses will.

"That's the least thing that could happen right now you know. That I could use, that we could all use," Jan Michael Jovellanos said.  

Janelle was also a yoga teacher after studying in India.

If you have any information on the maroon or red 4-door sedan involved in the accident, contact CHP at (559) 935-2093.