A mother of eight children was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver in the Corona area, leaving CHP searching for the driver Monday.
Rosa Lagunas Guzman was killed on the night of Saturday, Dec. 17, as she walking along a residential street in the unincorporated Home Gardens area after her attending her grandson's 9th birthday party. Her identity was released by the Riverside County coroner’s office.
A silver Honda Accord struck her about 8:10 p.m. as she walked to her car along the 3700 block of Byron Street. The car immediately fled northbound, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.
Guzman was pronounced dead on scene, according to CHP. The coroner’s office said she was pronounced dead at Corona Regional Medical Center 50 minutes after being struck.
"They took my mom away, they took my hero away," Marco Barcenas, one of the victim's sons, told KTLA with tears in his eyes.
A GoFundMe page set up to pay for the victim’s funeral said she leaves behind eight children, three of them still in her care. The page gives her name as Rosario Lagunas. Her family told KTLA she loved to dress up, and she loved her family.
The coroner's office described Guzman as 55; her family said she was 52.
CHP investigators are searching for a four-door Accord from model years 2003 to 2007, likely with damage to the right front end.
Surveillance video that shows the vehicle has been released. Investigators are hoping to speak to two pedestrians who can be seen walking by the car, CHP Officer Cuevas said.
The victim's family encouraged the driver to come forward.
"Turn yourself in, come up front. Don't be a coward," said Jose Barcenas, the victim's son.
Anyone with information is asked to call CHP’s Riverside Area office at 951-637-8000.