Family and friends are grieving the loss of a community activist and minister who died when she was struck by a car in South Los Angeles on Christmas Eve.

The driver fled the scene.

Witnesses say Trina Newman, 61, was dropping off presents for local children at a community center on Broadway near 88th Street around 3:30 p.m. Saturday when a driver plowed into her as she stepped off the sidewalk to get into her car.

Newman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Family members tried to console one another as police set up a crime scene perimeter on Broadway.

“I was trying to run through the yellow tape to her. I just couldn’t believe what I heard over the phone,” Amarrie Nicasio, the victim’s daughter, told KTLA.

Trina Newman
Trina Newman, 61, died when she was hit by a hit-and-run driver in South Los Angeles. Dec. 24, 2022 (family photo)

Nicasio says her mother was a minister who fostered several other children.

“Everybody is heart-stricken for this moment,” said Pastor Kenneth Pitchford, a friend of Newman’s. “Words can’t describe what she means to this community.”

Police did not provide a description of the vehicle. Family members hope security cameras in the area will help bring the driver to justice.

“She helped everybody she gave back to the community in every way she could. She’s a good person. Whoever did this needs to step up and turn yourself in,” Nicasio said.