PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland police said Thursday they now know who was behind a hit-and-run that killed a woman earlier in the week.
Police say 21-year-old Abaynesh Awokie was killed by a man driving a mail truck for the U.S. Postal Service.
The tragedy has shaken Awokie’s entire community. Dozens of people from the Ethiopian community grieved Thursday night. Awokie was following her dream by coming to America to make a life for her family.
“I lost her. What can I tell you? I don’t have nothing to say,” her mother said crying as she sat with other family and friends.
Awokie was walking to her job at the airport when she was hit by that mail truck at about 6 a.m. Tuesday. The driver drove off.
But after just a day of investigating the crime, Portland police say they located the driver.
The Portland Police Bureau is not yet releasing the name of the driver but it says he is cooperating.
The man’s Eugene-based employer has driving contracts with the postal service.
Awokie’s boyfriend, Habtu Gebremedhin, said Awokie would have never entered the crosswalk unless she had the light to walk. He said they planned to marry.
“I don’t know. I can’t live without her. It’s very sad,” he said.
He wants justice as does Awokie’s mother.
“We already lost her but the guy, he wasn’t being nice. He wasn’t nice at all,” Gebremedhin said.
They said Awokie might still be alive today if that driver would have just stopped to help.
“She could have survived. If he (the driver) would have stopped and helped or called, she could have survived,” Gebremedhin said.
Awokie had two children, five and seven years old. The children’s mom was going to school while she worked and was sending money back home to support her kids.
Friends from the Ethiopian community took donations to help the family at Awokie’s apartment Thursday night.