Driver hits and kills 91-year-old woman then takes off

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A 91-year-old Heights woman died in a hit and run, according to police.

Erline Gomez was just crossing 15th street, walking home to her yellow bungalow on Harvard Street. It's a trek she's made countless times before in her Heights neighborhood. This time, a white SUV, possibly a Toyota 4-Runner or Sequoia, hit her. She never made it across 15th. The driver then sped away.

"Come on, don't hit and run and kill somebody, come forward, you know what I mean?" said neighbor Raymond Cruz.

Neighbors can't believe the 91-year-old died this way. Unfortunately, hit and runs are so pervasive, local law enforcement officials held a news conference decrying the problem.

"If you strike somebody a bicyclist, a motorist, a pedestrian, and you leave the scene, you're looking at two to 20 years in the pen," said District Attorney Kim Ogg, who asked drivers to simply stop.

Amidst the heartache of the latest hit and run, there is some good news. CrimeStoppers tips have led to the arrest of Tawana Atkins, accused of hitting Reginald Lauderdale the 9500 block of Tidwell on April 27th. The following day, Jose Portillo died during an unrelated hit and run on the 13,300 block Westheimer. Another Crimestoppers tip led to the arrest of David Legate, Jr.

So now, the focus is on finding the person who hit Gomez.

"I remember her as always being happy when I would come to the door, because she would say, 'Oh you're bringing something good and sweet and I need something sweet'," said neighbor Karla Minick, who always baked an extra batch of cookies or cake for Gomez.

Authorities say if you have information, please call Houston Police or Crimestoppers at (713)222-TIPS.

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