Visalia Police find hit and run vehicle; family remembers elderly victim

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Angelina Ayala had a strong presence in Dinuba. Even the rough guys in her neighborhood respected the devout Jehovah's Witness. (KFSN)

Angelina Ayala had a strong presence in Dinuba. Even the rough guys in her neighborhood respected the devout Jehovah's Witness.

So it's no surprise Ayala's daughter has been receiving numerous calls and texts from her mother's many friends after what happened on Friday afternoon in Visalia.

The 87-year-old had finished grocery shopping with her friend and was walking across the parking lot when a car struck Ayala and kept going.

Luis Ceballos was just getting to work. He saw Ayala on the ground, and a crowd gathered around her.

"All day I was thinking about like, what happened, and is she going to be okay is she going to make it, and later that day at night, I heard that she didn't make it."

The next day, police found the suspect vehicle in Visalia. They have spoken with the owner of the car, a 2010 Acura sedan, but no arrests have been made yet.

"The surveillance footage was a huge part of our investigation and lead us to the vehicle that we had located Saturday afternoon," said Sgt. Damon Maurice with the Visalia Police Department.

Angelina Esparza said her mother was very giving, and was always moving-- whether it was walking or dancing.

"Sometimes I get tired, like mom, it's like 10 O' clock, I think we should go, it was like a wedding or something. And it's like well, it's not over yet, so she wanted to close the place down."

But Ayala dedicated her life to God, and between bible studies and ministry, her daughter said she stayed busy helping others up until the day she died.

"And that was the most exciting thing for her, is to do that preaching work to try to help others to understand that there's a better life than this one. There's more beyond than what we're living now, there's something special."

Related Topics:
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