80-year-old woman dies in Orosi after hit-and-run crash

TULARE COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- Family members say they are still in shock over the death of an elderly woman, struck and killed by a driver who never stopped.

The deadly crash happened Wednesday night around 6:00 in a residential neighborhood in Orosi. Officers say Salud Barragan was getting into a car when someone drove by and hit her.

Officers have been canvassing the neighborhood near Frances and Albert Street where this happened. They are looking for the car and clues. In the meantime, the family of Salud Barragan says they cannot imagine their lives without her.

Family members say Salud Barragan was always thinking of others before herself. Even though she had a hard time walking, at 80-years-old she was still cooking and cleaning and doing her own yardwork.

Nick Garcia said, "From the day I met her, that was 14 years ago, she has been nothing but kind to me and to everyone else around her."

Wednesday night, she was getting into to the passenger's side of her granddaughter's car, when California Highway Patrol officers say a late model blue car drove by and hit her.

Scott Harris with the California Highway Patrol said, "The vehicle was parked on the west side of the road, kind of facing the opposite direction than what it should have been. She was basically just getting into the passenger's side, apparently getting ready to leave with some family."

Every night, Salud would visit her husband Salvador in a nursing home. She would always take him homemade food. She had her hands full of stuff for him Wednesday, when family members say she was thrown from the car. The impact caused a severe head injury and other major trauma.

Garcia said, "I honestly cannot see how they didn't stop, to just keep going like that, I'm almost at a loss for words."

Gilbert Cortez has lived across the street from Salud for three decades. Over the years he says, she was always a hard worker.

"She had to use her little walker everyday but she never stopped working," said Cortez. "Sweeping the doors, sweeping the house, sweeping the streets and very friendly. Nice people."

Investigators canvassed the Orosi neighborhood where Salud lived Thursday. They are following up on leads and looking for the car that officers say sped away after the fatal crash. Detectives believe the car has some damage to the right side of it.

Family members say Salud was most devoted to her husband. He will learn of her death this evening, when other loved ones come to visit him, instead of her.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.