Activist pastor is killed by hit-and-run on Christmas Eve while delivering presents to children in Los Angeles

Family and friends of Trina Newman-Townsend, 61, are appealing for the driver to turn themselves in

Bevan Hurley
Monday 26 December 2022 16:14 GMT
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A Los Angeles pastor was killed in a hit-and-run while delivering presents to underprivileged children on Christmas Eve, police say.

Trina Newman-Townsend, 61, was struck while getting into her car at the intersection of 88th Street and South Broadway in South Los Angeles at about 3.25pm, the LAPD said in a statement.

Newman-Townsend, a beloved community activist, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Her devastated friends and family are now appealing for the driver who fled the accident to come forward.

“She helped everybody, she gave back to the community in every way she could” her daughter Amarrie Nicasio told KTLA.

“Whoever did this needs to step up and turn yourself in.”

Trina Newman-Townsend was a beloved community activist and church minister
Trina Newman-Townsend was a beloved community activist and church minister (Facebook)

Family gathered at the crash scene to console one another after the Christmas Eve tragedy.

“I was trying to run through the yellow tape to her. I just couldn’t believe what I heard over the phone,” Ms Nicasio told KTLA.

Newman-Townsend was a church minister who had raised six foster children, family members said.

She had been handing out gifts at a community centre toy giveaway just before she was killed, Ms Nicasio said.

Pastor Kenneth Pitchford, a friend of Newman-Townsend’s told KTLA: “Everybody is heart-stricken for this moment. Words can’t describe what she means to this community.”

Police have not released a description of the vehicle, and no arrests have been made.

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