The family of a San Marcos woman killed a week ago in a traffic collision is asking the public to help catch the driver responsible before someone else is injured or killed.
Helen Gomez, 61, of San Marcos was walking her dog on April 15 when she was hit by a car on Smilax Road and Mimosa Avenue. The San Diego County Sheriff's Department is investigating the incident as a hit-and-run collision.
Deputies say based on evidence left at the crash scene, the suspect vehicle is an unknown colored Ford Econoline Series E-150, E-250, or E-350 van or truck (similar to the photo below) and should have damage to the front bumper and grille.
Gomez was rushed to a nearby hospital where she died the next day.
Her partner Isabel Mera said she saw the lights of patrol cars near the couple’s home but didn’t know it was Gomez who was injured.
She and Gomez had lived together in San Marcos for nearly 20 years.
Hours later, on the advice of a friend, Mera called around to hospitals to find out if they had Gomez listed as a patient.
She finally found Gomez at Palomar where she was undergoing surgery for multiple injuries. Soon after, Mera realized Gomez had been the subject of the patrol cars and ambulance near their home.
She recalls the doctor telling her that at Gomez' age, with the type of injuries suffered, the family needed to be prepared for the worst.
“How do I wake up in the morning and not have that person to talk to?” she asked. “That’s gone. That’s taken from me.”
Mera said she finds comfort in her religious beliefs and the feeling that Gomez is with her deceased father.
The incident happened at approximately 8:20 p.m. on Monday, April 15 along Smilax Road just west of State Route 78. Now, Mera and Gomez' cousin, Rose Jamie, want the driver to come forward.
“No one knows anything. There are no leads,” Mera said.
Jamie can’t understand how the driver could’ve left the scene without reporting it to anyone.
“Maybe it would’ve got the ambulance out there faster,” said Rose Jamie. “We don’t know how long she laid there.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact the San Diego County Sheriff's Department San Marcos station at (760) 510-5200,