Thursday, January 19, 2006

Article - Hit-and-run turns fatal (Golden Given at 90th St E. area)

Young East Side mom struck after she runs into street The second deadly Pierce County hit-and-run in a month claims a 20-year-old. Police seek the driver of a white pickup with blue stripes.

PAUL SAND; The News Tribune
Last updated: January 16th, 2006 02:40 AM (PST)

Lindsy Som's friends hadn't seen her in a few months because she spent much of her time with a new boyfriend and her 2-year-old daughter. Their get-together Saturday night in Midland was a reunion of sorts, with Som and a handful of her girlfriends talking and watching TV.

But at 2:15 a.m. Sunday, Som, 20, argued with her boyfriend, ran out onto Golden Given Road East and was struck by a pickup that did not stop, her friends said. She died at the scene.

"She was a good person and a good mother," said Surin Lay, 25, Som's former fiancé and the father of her daughter, Kailinna. "She had her whole life ahead of her."

It was the second fatal hit-and-run accident in Pierce County in less than a month. On Dec. 25, 12-year-old Gerald Reed Jr. was fatally injured by a car near 34th Street East and Pacific Avenue in Tacoma. Police arrested James L. Anderson, 44, of Tacoma, two days later in connection with that fatal accident.

The vehicle that struck Som in the 8900 block of Golden Given Road East on Sunday was a white pickup with blue stripes, said Ed Troyer, Pierce County sheriff's spokesman. It might also have a flatbed, he said.

Witnesses told sheriff's investigators that they yelled at Som to move out of the truck's way, but that she didn't move and the vehicle struck her from behind as she headed northbound, Troyer said. There's a "strong chance" that the driver was intoxicated because of the time that the crash happened, he said.

Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers has offered up to a $1,000 reward for information in Som's death.

Som was a talkative, outgoing and understanding woman who was raising her daughter at her parents' East Side home where she also lived, said Sosary Pheann, 20, who had known Som for about 10 years.

Pheann, whose lives with her parents at the home that Som left before the accident, said Som dropped out of school before she began high school and didn't work. She would often go over to Pheann's home and cook dinner.

On Sunday afternoon, Pheann stood in her front yard with three of Som's friends, looking up the street at the balloons and a photo of Som hung near the place where she died.

"Hopefully, he's good enough to turn himself in," said Sophy Pheann, 26, about the driver who struck Som.

"Because she won't be able to rest in peace until then," added Reiy Rith, 21.

On Tacoma's East Side, friends and members of Som's extended family filled the living room of her parents' small house. Lay, father of 2-year-old Kailinna, sat outside and talked about his former fiancée. They remained close even after they broke off their one-year engagement last year, and took turns caring for their daughter, he said.

"I loved her with all my heart," he said. "Now there's only two of us left out of three in my family. Just me and my daughter."

If you can help

Investigators are looking for the driver of a white pickup with blue stripes that struck Lindsy Som, 20, at 2:15 a.m. Sunday in the 8900 block of Golden Given Road East in Pierce County. The truck might also have a flatbed. Tacoma-Pierce County Crime Stoppers has offered a reward of up to $1,000 for information about the crash. The organization's number is 253-591-5959. bad month for Pedestrian accidents

There have been at least five other serious vehicle-pedestrian accidents – three fatal – in the South Sound in the past month.

 • Gerald Reed Jr., 12, Tacoma, was fatally injured Dec. 25 by a hit-and-run run driver. A suspect in that case was later arrested.

 • Timmy Plai, 11, was hit and critically injured near his East Side home Jan. 7 by a pickup truck that left the scene. A suspect was later arrested.

 • Joe Chavez, 53, Puyallup, was killed by a pickup Jan. 11. Police don't think the driver was at fault.

 • A Federal Way woman, 79, was killed Dec. 14. The driver was not believed to be at fault.

 • An Auburn man was critically injured Dec. 28. The driver was not believed to be at fault.

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