Victim of weekend hit-and-run in Sumner dies

Victim of weekend hit-and-run in Sumner dies
SUMNER, Wash. -- Friends of a devoted teacher who was fatally struck by a hit-and-run driver Saturday night have made a tearful plea for the driver to "do the right thing" and surrender.

Rachel Givens was about to join friends inside the Log Cabin Pub on East Valley Highway when she was struck by a car while crossing the street. The driver then sped off.

Givens was rushed to a Tacoma General Hospital in critical condition. A hospital spokesperson said Givens passed away Monday evening.

"It's hard, knowing somebody for that long and they're gone one day," said Sarah Franklin, Givens' childhood friend.

Friends and relatives describe the 23-year-old Givens as a gifted athlete and a devoted teacher with a charismatic personality.

"She walks into a room and she's the center of the party," Franklin said. "She's the light in the room -- the energy force, you know."

Sumner police are still searching for the driver with little to go on so far -- just that the vehicle appears to be a dark small sedan or sports car. Video from the tavern's security cameras may help.

"It's a little grainy and we're trying to work out and enhance that," said Sumner Police Deputy Chief Jeff Engel. "But it does show this young lady being struck."

Investigators hope whoever is responsible makes things easier by doing the right thing.

"I would hope that anybody would want to come forward," Engel said. "If it was somebody in their family that had been struck by a vehicle and is going through this like this family is."

Franklin says Givens' mother wants people to see her daughter's face and hear her name -- anything that might encourage the public to come forward with information.

"They're forgiving people," Franklin said. "They don't want vengeance. They want closure."

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To donate money to help cover Givens' medical and funeral expenses, visit www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/7g73/we-3-rachel-givens.