SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- An emotional memorial was held Thursday evening in honor of a South Los Angeles foster mother who was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver while dropping off toys at a shelter.
Dozens of candles illuminated a makeshift memorial on a sidewalk as devastated family members, friends and residents remembered Trina Newman Townsend, a beloved community activist and pastor.
"The community is here honoring my sister, somebody you didn't even know," Dwayne Newman told the assembled mourners. He described her as "somebody that was doing something in the community that you never knew, until her death"
The 62-year-old mother and grandmother was raising two biological children and six foster children.
"My mother was a phenomenal woman," Callie Harvey said. "Love is a verb -- people forget that. She showed you that she loved you."
The tragic crash happened at 88th Street and South Broadway. Newman-Townsend was walking back to her car when she was hit by what police say was a blue mid-size sedan.
The driver never stopped.
A Thursday's vigil, family members urged the driver to come forward.
"Somebody who means so much to the community didn't deserve to go out this way," said Brittani Newman, Newman-Townsend's niece. "We as a family deserve peace in our hearts. So we ask that you please, please, please surrender yourself."
The family also called on the city to take steps to improve traffic safety in the area.
"We need closure," Dwayne Newman said. "We need laws to change, we need people's hearts to change, we need behaviors to change."