Family, friends of hit-and-run victim plead for driver to come forward

Published: Sep. 13, 2022 at 9:52 AM MST|Updated: Sep. 13, 2022 at 10:16 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Family and friends are desperate for answers after a deadly hit-and-run in central Tucson.

Police said 21-year-old Kendra Roberts was hit by three vehicles while walking in a crosswalk. Only two of the drivers stayed at the scene.

It happened at the intersection of Grant and Palo Verde on Saturday, Sept. 3.

Roberts died from her injuries days later and her family and friends are hoping the third driver comes forward.

”She was happy all the time. She was crazy too. She was just a different kind of kid,” said Felicity Samaro, Roberts’s mother.

“She was a very caring person. She’d give you the shirt off her back and that’s what I loved about her,” said Sierra Sawyer, one of Roberts’s friends.

Someone’s daughter, sister, and friend is gone. Roberts turned 21 years old the day before she was hit.

“It hurts that she’s gone and it doesn’t feel real,” Sawyer said.

Samaro said officials on the scene put Kendra in a body bag before they realized she was still alive. She had a long list of critical injuries.

″Almost every bone in her body was broken. She had injuries to her legs, arms, and collarbone. Her first impact was to the top of her head and that’s what eventually took her life,” Samaro said.

Five days after the accident, Roberts had no brain activity and was taken off life support. That same day, there was a new addition to the family.

“The day she passed away, my daughter had a baby, her niece. They gave her, her middle name which is Julianne,” Samaro said.

People in the area said the intersection is dangerous and that many pedestrians have been hit over the years.

There’s been an increase in pedestrian fatalities across Tucson. According to the Tucson Police Department, there have been 29 so far this year compared to only 19 at this time last year.

Roberts’s family and friends believe that more can be done to keep pedestrians safe.

″The crosswalk I feel like it needs to be treated like a school zone. Even if the light’s not on, always be cautious. That’s my main concern. Always check your surroundings, always have lights around, check your headlights are on and just control your speed,” Sawyer said.

The TPD said it is still an ongoing investigation. Officers are working to identify the third driver involved. Anyone with any information is asked to contact 88-CRIME.