by: Natasha Chen Updated:
SUMNER, Wash. - A woman was hit by a car and killed in Sumner on Saturday, Oct. 5. The driver who struck her did not stop.
On Monday, Oct. 14, a $5,000 reward was announced, in addition to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers for any information leading to the driver. All information is kept confidential. Please call Sumner Police at (253) 299-5678.
Surveillance video was also released by Sumner police.
Friends and family said Rachel Givens, 23, was pronounced brain-dead early Monday morning, Oct. 7. They said that the hospital kept her on life support for a while to prepare her organs for donation.
Her family is asking for support through a memorial fund.
A tribute to Givens was held Tuesday, Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. at Auburn Riverside High School, where Givens attended and was part of a basketball team that won two state championships.
Sumner police said that the incident happened just before 11 p.m Saturday.
Witnesses said Givens was crossing the street to go to the Log Cabin Pub and Eatery when she was struck by a dark sedan or sports car, heading northbound on East Valley Highway. The street does not have any street lights or crosswalks.
Friends of the victim said she was the last one of her group to cross when she was hit.
Friends said Givens was a para-educator, helping challenged students and coaching middle school basketball for Muckleshoot Tribal School.
"She loved being around those kids, and helping them. She was very happy," said Sarah Franklin, Givens' best friend of 18 years.
Franklin said that Givens really wanted to try out for the WBNA this year. Now, a memorial sits on the side of East Valley Highway with flowers and a basketball.
Family and friends are trying to make sense of the random tragedy.
"I wake up, shaking. It's hard to believe that she's gone. Like I won't see her again, and I won't have another laugh with her or hear her voice," Franklin said.
She said that she and Givens used to laugh so hard and so loud that they would get in trouble. Now, she just wishes she had one more laugh with her best friend.
Franklin also said that the family has not spent much time dwelling on the driver who got away.
"They already forgave them. They just want them to do what's right by their conscience," she said, adding that nothing could bring her friend back.
Franklin hopes to somehow keep Givens' memory alive. Those posting about Givens on Twitter or Facebook are asked to use #RachelGives so her family can see all of the good wishes and memories in one place.
The family said that Givens' organ-donor status is typical of her generosity, giving until her last breath. Family members of organ donors receive heart necklaces. Family members can write their final message to Givens on one part of the heart pendant that will be tied around her wrist.
Sumner police are asking anyone with any information about the hit-and-run to leave a message for detectives at 253-299-5678 (253-299-TIPS).