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Widower of hit-and-run victim makes emotional plea to driver

Nilo Tumanda, whose wife Leonida Jimenez Tumanda was the pedestrian killed in a hit-and-run incident on Dec. 2, 2012, appeals to the driver to come forward at a police news conference on Dec. 7.

Ian Bailey/The Globe and Mail

The husband of a woman killed in a hit-and-run incident last Sunday is appealing to the driver to turn himself in.

Nilo Tumanda's sombre plea at a Vancouver Police Department news conference Friday comes amidst a series of recent Lower Mainland pedestrian injuries and fatalities.

"Yesterday I told my five-year-old daughter that her mummy was never coming home. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do," Mr. Tumanda said, reading from a prepared statement. "She still doesn't really understand."

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To the unknown driver, he said: "Do the right thing. Please come forward."

He declined to take questions.

Leonida Jimenez Tumanda, 43, was found lying in a Vancouver intersection around 10 p.m on Dec. 2. She was hit by a vehicle that did not stop.

Inspector Les Yeo of the force's traffic section said it's only a matter of time before investigators find the driver, though he offered few details on how the case is progressing.

"You made some regrettable decisions that night," he said, speaking through the media to the driver. "Now it's time to make the right decision and come forward."

In 2012, 11 of 19 traffic fatalities in Vancouver have involved pedestrians.

In the last five weeks, five pedestrians have been killed.

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Insp. Yeo said, as a result, enforcement has been stepped up at intersections and crosswalks and police will be distributing, free of charge, hundreds of reflective armbands to pedestrians.

He said seasonal rain and darkness may be, essentially, endangering pedestrians.

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