PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are searching for the driver who hit and killed an elderly woman while she was crossing the street in Providence early Wednesday morning.
Vanda Makovetskiy was walking across North Main Street near her apartment when she was hit by an oncoming car. She was rushed to Rhode Island Hospital where she later succumbed to her injuries, according to her son-in-law Mike Deshaies.
Deshaies said Makovetskiy was taking her daily walk with her 93-year-old husband at the time.
“They take this same walk together, hand in hand, at 6 o’clock every single morning,” he said, adding that his in-laws have lived in the same apartment in Providence since they immigrated from Ukraine 28 years ago. “They walk this same route.”
Makovetskiy and her husband had just reached the other side of the street and were stepping up onto the curb when the car “came out of nowhere at a very high rate of speed,” according to Deshaies.
He said the car clipped Makovetskiy as her husband helped her up onto the sidewalk. She was thrown to the ground upon impact.
Deshaies tells 12 News he and his wife took a red-eye flight to Rhode Island from California upon learning what had happened from a relative.
He described his mother-in-law as the sweetest woman he has ever met.
“She made me feel special and like I was part of the family,” he said. “From the moment I met her, she showed me love.”
Deshaies said his wife and her mother had an “incredible relationship.”
“My wife is a complete mess,” he said. “She’s their only child.”
Though his father-in-law was not physically injured, Deshaies said he’s heartbroken.
“His life has been changed forever,” he said. “He’s been crying. His whole world has been completely shattered.”
Deshaies said their family is “shocked and outraged” that the driver didn’t stop. He is urging anyone with information to contact the Providence Police Department.
“We really need to get this person off the street before they do it to somebody else,” Makovetskiy said. “Nobody should get away with something like this.”
“She was 85 years old, but she was happy, healthy and living life,” he continued. “She was robbed of another good 10 years at least.”