STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- A Stockton family is heartbroken after their 71-year-old grandmother was killed by a hit-and-run driver Thursday night.
The California Highway Patrol says a pickup truck hit Trinidad Avalos Cornelio on Benjamin Holt Drive near Leesburg place.
“Beloved by many, she wasn’t just my tia. She was a mom as well as a grandmother,” niece Paula Delacruz said.
Loved ones describe Cornelio as the backbone of their family.
“She was such a great role model that she left such an impression on us and all of us didn’t believe it at all,” granddaughter Aliyah Avalos said. “It was like such a shock.”
The family said Cornelio was walking to Presentation Church to pray for her mother who died in 2013 of lung cancer.
“It was her mom’s birthday also, so it really hurts a lot,” granddaughter Adriana Flores said.
Neighbors say the streets need to be made safer.
“I see no blinking yellow lights. I see no crossing, which is really ridiculous for this area,” resident Kathleen Franco said. “It’s a terrible tragedy for a 71-year-old woman coming to church.”
While Cornelio’s family is heartbroken, they’re united in their fight for justice.
“I don’t’ get how people can live like that knowing that they murdered someone and just left the scene,” granddaughter Mikaela Avalos said.
Cornelio leaves behind at least 40 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
"I hope that that person comes through and turns himself in," Cathy Cornelio said.
If you have any information about the hit and run, you are asked to contact the California Highway Patrol.