Loved ones, friends struggle with woman’s hit-and-run death

Posted at 5:27 PM, Jul 31, 2012
and last updated 2012-07-31 18:33:56-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - A community is still reeling over the hit-and-run death of a woman who was riding her bicycle home after work this past weekend.

Co-workers of Lanie Kruszewski say they’re still in shock and are struggling to cope with her death.

Richmond police say Sunday night, Kruszewski was traveling along a stretch of River Road, a winding road with no shoulder and a wooded area. She died after someone hit her and left the scene.

Michael Hinerman is the General Manager of Osaka restaurant where Lanie worked. He tells CBS 6 News there are so many friends and family members in agony right now.

“More than a shock. It's inexplicable. Lanie was such a special person and that makes this all the more difficult," added Hinerman.

CBS 6 News spoke with retired police captain Steve Neal, who says a hit-and-run crime is one of the most difficult for detectives to solve since they normally do not have much evidence.

However, Richmond police have been tracking leads, searching for a Jeep Cherokee or a Dodge Durango with possible damage to the passenger side headlight, mirror and/or window.

Neal explained what strategy detectives may pursue, including checking local hospitals.

"Because there is a possibility that the person driving the vehicle may have been injured as well," said Neal. "They may also be checking body shops. Sometimes things can be traced back to a make or model. They can locate a dealer that way.”

As loved ones grieve, Neal says detectives are likely digging deep behind the scenes to bring the hit-and-run driver to justice.

In the meantime, Lanie’s boss Michael Hinerman says Osaka restaurant is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who has information that can help police crack the case.