• Hit-and-run driver arrested in death of 77-year-old Tacoma woman

    By: Deborah Horne


    TACOMA, Wash. - There has been an arrest in a hit -and-run that left a Tacoma grandmother dead. The car was nowhere to be found until the victim's son made a discovery.

    The 77-year-old woman was struck last week. She died the next day.

    The fatal accident happened on 44th Avenue Northeast in Tacoma's Browns Point neighborhood.

    Her son says he happened upon the vehicle. 

    He had seen it in surveillance video taken by the many cameras in this neighborhood. 

    So when he spotted it in Milton, he said it looked very familiar.

    That came days after his mother was struck down as she walked on a quiet, residential street.

    Even at 77, Karin Woodbury was a force to be reckoned with.

    "She was pressure-washing the day before on the roof," said her son, Steve Woodbury. "Had to go up there and help her. Yeah, she was quite something else. Two days before that, she was up chopping trees with a chainsaw."

    But he says last Tuesday night, Karin Woodbury was walking along 44th Avenue Northeast, to meet her boyfriend. 

    Dinner was waiting and he hadn't come home from work yet. 

    But she never made it.

    "No one saw her hit," said Tacoma police Officer Mark Best, "that I'm aware of."

    Best said most eyewitnesses saw the vehicle only on surveillance video. 

    And that made it difficult finding the driver.

    "The information was given about a tan or light-colored Honda or Toyota vehicle fleeing the scene," Best said.

    It turns out her son spotted a vehicle matching that description and shared it with police. 

    They booked the man into the Pierce County jail early Monday afternoon, nearly a week after he allegedly cut down Karin Woodbury.

    "I kind of want to know the story," Steve Woodbury said. "Why he did what he did. How it happened, you know?"

    Now, he is seeking answers as to why his mother was left in the street to die.

    "She was the best person in the world," he said. 

    She was the most caring, understanding. 

    She had, like, six grandkids. They're all going to miss her greatly."

    Tacoma police have not identified the suspect.

    But they said the suspect is an 18-year-old man who was booked for vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an injury accident at 1:38 p.m.

    He should make a first court appearance Tuesday.

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