Family grieves hit-and-run victim who was walking to Hayward laundromat

Hayward police are looking for a driver who hit and killed a woman and drove away.

The family of Valarie Martinez say she was walking to laundromat to wash her clothes when the crash happened on Huntwood Avenue in an industrial area of Hayward.

They've created a memorial for her along the side of the road.

"My mom was a good woman. It just hurts. It hurts a lot," says Nicole Eldridge, Martinez's daughter. 

Family members gathered at the crash scene Wednesday evening to honor her memory, struggling to make sense of what happened.

"How can you just leave somebody in the middle of the road like that-to die by themselves?" says Eldridge.

Police say the crash took place Saturday night shortly before 8 o'clock.

Investigators have released a photo of the suspect vehicle: a 2005 light colored Ford Explorer. 

Police say another driver saw her walking shortly before the crash and used his high beams to let her know cars were coming.  

"The suspect vehicle sped by him and hit this woman. At that point, the vehicle backed up, drove around the woman and fled southbound on Huntwood," says Hayward Police Officer Mike Wright.

The family shared with KTVU surveillance video of the suspect vehicle provided by someone who works in the area. 

It shows the Ford Explorer driving away and turning the corner

"It really hasn't hit me all the way yet. Just trying to hang in there. Never thought I would lose her like this," says Olivia Martinez about her mother. 

Family members say they're grateful for the support they've received from the community including drivers who stopped to help. One driver performed CPR on Martinez.

She died at the hospital.

"Thank you for pulling over. Thank you for trying to save my mother's life," says Eldridge.   

The victim's husband Mike Martinez says he and his wife started living out of an RV a year ago when they could no longer afford rent.

They had been married for 40 years.

He had hoped to take grant her wish to go to Hawaii when he retires in a few years, "Kind of empty. My whole life was her. She was my everything."

Martinez leaves behind a husband, two daughters and five grandchildren.

Police say the Ford Explorer might have damage to the windshield and front end, and that there was a license plate holder that was found at the scene 

The family is urging the person responsible to surrender to police.  

To help the family with funeral expenses: A Gofundme has been set up.