Everett hit-and-run suspect now behind bars

The hit-and-run driver suspected of killing a woman two-and-a-half weeks ago in Everett is now behind bars.

There's a cross and flowers set up just feet from where 59-year-old Tracy Gjernes lost her life. Neighbor Patricia Juitron put it out just today.

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“It is sad, very sad,” Juitron said.

Gjernes had just gone to the WinCo Foods. She was crossing 19th Avenue SE to head back home with her groceries when she was killed. She was not in a marked crosswalk.

Juitron says she knew Gjernes for many years.

“Tracy is a nice person,” Juitron said,

Police arrested 49-year-old Thomas Rock who appeared via closed circuit TV in an Everett courtroom on Wednesday.

Authorities said Rock is transient and was driving a red 2001 Dodge Caravan on Sept. 8 when he hit Gjernes.

Video from the Skate Deck across the street shows people running to help after she was hit.

But instead of stopping, Rock is accused of driving away. He also allegedly talked about the accident. He was identified after tips came into Everett police.

According to documents, when police found Rock, the van's hood had wet paint with spray cans next to it. The van also had damage to the plastic between the hood and windshield and tape residue.

The judge noted that Rock had 15 failures to appear since 2017. His criminal record includes convictions for DUI, theft and forgery. His bail was set at $50,000.

Juitron is just glad Gjernes is finally getting justice.

“I'm glad somebody is arrested. They have to pay for that,” Juitron said,

Documents also show that Rock's girlfriend confessed to police that she was in the van with him when the accident happened. She also admitted to being with him when he replaced the hood and windshield.

Meanwhile, Gjernes will be laid to rest soon in a private service. Her family did not want to speak on camera with KIRO 7 News but said they are grieving her loss.