Family of mother killed by hit-and-run driver asks for help in tracking down her killer

The family of a woodland hills mother killed by a hit-and-run driver is asking for help in tracking down her killer.

Evgeny Lavrentev has many unanswered questions as he examines the Encino crosswalk where his wife was hit last Saturday night.

He was only a few feet away when the crash happened.

"My wife was hit and the guy took off and ran away," he said.

Lavrentev said he didn't get a good look at the driver as he ran to his wife 30-year-old Yana Lavrenteva.

She was crossing the street with two girlfriends inside a marked crosswalk at the Encino Commons.

"I was actually the first person who came to her, to her body," he said.

Lavrenteva was kept on life support for several days before she passed away.

She was a beloved speech pathologist helping children with autism and also leaves behind two children of her own.

"She was an amazing mama her children," her mother-in-law, Natalia Catton, said. "When they go to party they say mama we love you so much you are so beautiful they tell her everyday."

Lavrenteva was also well known in the Russian community as a beauty pageant winner and talented dancer.

Video of her last dance with her husband moments before she left this party and was killed brought her mother-in-law to tears.

Her children still don't know their mom is gone.

"My kids trust me, I'm not going to lie to them," Lavrentev said. "I have to tell them the truth one day."

Lavrentev is also hoping the driver will come forward with the truth.

He acknowledged his wife's death could have been an accident, but also says the crosswalk, which connects two shopping plaza's is dangerous.

Some driver's don't know the red flashing light signals a pedestrian in the crosswalk and some don't even stop, Lavrentev observed.

The suspect's vehicle is described as a possible silver Toyota 4Runner SUV model years 1996 to 2000.

Anyone with information can call LAPD detectives at 818-644-8021 or 818-644-8028