Truck Examined After Hit-and-Run

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SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio -- Police in South Euclid are trying to determine if a pickup truck they have is the one that struck and seriously injured a woman.

Around 9:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Laka Negassa, 26, was walking home from her job at Giant Eagle in South Euclid.  She made it to the corner of Mayfield and Warrensville Center roads.

"She had just gotten off work, was walking home to her home in Cleveland Heights, had stopped at the corner to cross the street when the truck turned right and struck her," said South Euclid traffic commissioner Robert Abele.

Abele says the driver of the truck kept going.

"It's very heartless, but a witness says that after he hit the victim, he stopped momentarily and slowed down, then took off at a high rate of speed, so it intends to lead that he knew he hit something," he said.

Police say they received a tip on Thursday about a truck matching the description of the one that struck Negassa.  They tracked down the owner and say he voluntarily handed it over to be processed.

"The coroner's office are gonna do the processing for us, they're gonna look for trace evidence to see if there's any trace evidence on the vehicle, because the victim was dragged approximately 90 feet under the vehicle and she sustained very serious injuries from it," said Abele.

Police say the truck they have in custody matches the description of the one they've been looking for -- a newer, blue pickup with a possible red stripe on the side and a white plow on the front.  But they say the owner has assured them he is not involved.

"Everything matched, the plow, the truck, the color, so we just want to process this truck and see if it pans out," said Abele.

Police say Negassa was being treated for critical injuries at MetroHealth Medical Center.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call South Euclid police at 216-381-1234.

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