Mother of 8 killed in Home Gardens hit-and-run

HOME GARDENS, Calif. (KABC) -- New surveillance video may help investigators find the driver of a car involved in a deadly weekend hit-and-run in Home Gardens.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the video captures a silver Honda Accord speeding away moments after running down 52-year-old Rosario Lagunas.

"I can't have her tell me she loves me," said the victim's emotional son, Juan Barcenas. "Everyone needs their mother's love. It's just not right."

The deadly hit-and-run happened Saturday night just after 8 p.m. on Byron Street. The victim's family was gathered to celebrate a birthday.

"She said goodbye to everybody, and I kept that memory of my mom having a good time with her family," said Jose Barcenas, the victim's son.

Her son says his mother was standing in front of his home with his two youngest sisters. They, along with their stepfather, witnessed the impact and the driver taking off.

"Literally took her like 10 feet, the impact, when they hit her, took her 10 feet over there," Juan Barcenas said.

Broken fragments from the car littered the street near a growing memorial for the mother of eight.

Investigators say the 2003 to 2007 Accord was damaged in the incident. The suspect almost hit two pedestrians crossing the street during the getaway.

The victim's family says they are taking comfort in the faith their mother taught them as they grieve.

"I'm going to miss her," Jose Barcenas said through his tears. "She was my strength, but I know she is in a better place."

The California Highway Patrol would like to talk to the two pedestrians that the suspect nearly struck. Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is urged to call the CHP Riverside Office at (951) 637-8000.
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