Grieving family wants daughter’s hit-and-run killer to come forward

Posted at 10:21 PM, Jul 30, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-30 23:26:31-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--What is the driver that killed 24-year-old Lanie Kruszewski hiding from? A DUI? A suspended or revoked license, or other crime?

Those are just some of the questions Kruszewski's parents are struggling with as they prepare for the funeral of their youngest daughter.

"This person took their little sister and my baby, and didn't even stop."  Missing from Patty Kruszewki’s couch in her living room, is the youngest of her three daughters--Lanie Kruszewski.  The fact that she will never sit with them again, because a motorist hit and killed her, and then decided to drive off, weighs heaviest on their hearts.

“It’s one thing to make a terrible mistake: drive, hit a pedestrian, feel terrible and stop.  But it's completely different to hit a pedestrian and keep on going," said Patty.

Lanie had just finished her shift at a sushi restaurant at the bottom of River Road Sunday night.  She was a young, disciplined woman with hundreds, if not thousands, of miles of biking experience, and when she was 30 minutes late, her boyfriend sounded the alarm.

“I went out looking for her,” her oldest sister Leah said.  “I didn't really worry about it until I saw police cars blocking off the bottom of Cary Street.”

It was the route her sister always took home: the flashing lights and police tape reminders of a nightmare that's become a waking reality for Lanie's mom.  That section of River Road is heavily wooded and dark at night.  But according to family members, Lanie had plenty of reflectors and lights.  “One of the safest bikers I know," said middle sister Jackie.

Who killed Lanie?   If he or she stopped, would Lanie still be alive?  Is someone out there watching, pondering these questions?  Her family says you owe it to them to come forward.  "We'd feel better if we had closure,” said Patty.  “Closure is what we need."

Lanie was a culinary genius, according to her sisters and mom, who say holiday parties will never be the same because Lanie was always the chef.  Her sister Leah said Lanie had the most positive outlook on life and saw the best in everyone.

If you saw anything that can help police with their investigation, call 780-1000.