A Minnesota family is demanding justice following a late night hit-and-run that killed their 70-year-old mother and injured their father. He is expected to survive.
Police say the crash happened around 10 p.m. in the area of Forest and Magnolia Avenue East Sunday night in St. Paul.
The deceased woman was identified as Phoua Hang. According to St. Paul Police, Hang was driving a green Toyota Corolla. Her husband was in the passenger seat. Family told Alpha News the couple were on their way home at the time of the crash.
The family is pleading with the public for information about the crash.
“Our beloved grandmother deserves better! She’s a fighter, one of the strongest elderly woman [sic] who’s ever lived. She [was] loved beyond words. She gives expecting nothing in return, and she fought for her American dream. She fought for her family, us, her children. Please! Our family needs justice,” Chee Yang, Hang’s granddaughter, said in a Facebook post, pleading for information about the crash.
When officers arrived on scene, they “observed [Hang] in the vehicle bleeding from the head. [Hang] was pronounced dead on scene,” the police report says.
“It’s very tragic any time there’s a loss of life. It’s very sad, especially a couple … just driving down the road,” said St. Paul Police Sgt. David McCabe.
A gray Kia Sportage, which was registered as a stolen vehicle out of Minneapolis, reportedly crashed into Hang’s car. Police said the driver and passengers of the stolen vehicle ran away.
“Theft of Kias and Hyundais is an unfortunate national trend that is now reaching the metro area,” said Ramsey County Sheriff Bob Fletcher. The cars lack anti-theft devices.
“The Saint Paul Police Department (SPPD) is committed to addressing the problem locally through prevention and a collaborative response with our regional and state partners,” the department said in a statement.
Fletcher said about 25% of stolen vehicles in his county are Kias and Hyundais. Often, these types of crimes result in high-speed pursuits, Fletcher said. Even when police are not chasing stolen vehicles, “young kids videotape themselves driving recklessly.”
Police do not have a description of the driver or passengers of the stolen car. Investigators from the St. Paul Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Unit, as well as the Forensic Services Unit are investigating the crash.
“First or second-time offenders spend little or no time [in jail], and we’ve arrested several of them multiple times. Unfortunately the juvenile court system requires them to be repeat offenders before we even get any significant time for them,” said Fletcher.
Hang’s daughter, Pakou Hang, wrote on Facebook that their mom “was the center of our world, and today there is only darkness and silence. Please pray for our father and our family as we begin to orient ourselves to this new world.”
SPPD recommends owners of these vehicles use an alarm system or steering wheel locking device to prevent theft, in addition to not leaving vehicles running, unattended or unlocked.
Anyone with information regarding this crash is asked to call the Saint Paul Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Unit at 651-266-5722.