The woman killed by a hit-and-run driver as she was bicycling across Highway 2 in Monroe Wednesday night has been identified as Debbrah Marie Pesce, 53, the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office said.
Police are still searching for a light-colored pickup witnesses said hit her around 7:35 p.m. at the lighted intersection of Old Owen Road and Highway 2. The pickup was described as a white late-80s to early-90s Ford F-series pickup with a dark blue or green stripe.
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Christopher Johnson, the manager of nearby Brookside Motel, said he and tenants were shaken by her death because they had seen her try so hard in recent weeks to lift herself out of homelessness.
Johnson said Pesce had moved into the hotel a couple weeks ago after living in her car for some time. While looking for a job and trying to find cleaning work, he said she would help paint the motel and volunteer at Next Step Community Resource Center, a faith-based, non-profit that serves homeless and low-income residents in the Skykomish River Valley. Johnson said he remembers her saying she helped with Next Step’s after-school children’s program.
“She was always such a sweet lady – she had nothing but she gave all that she could,” Johnson said.
Witnesses of the hit-and-run said the eastbound pickup was revving its engine while stopped on Highway 2 behind one vehicle before it went around that vehicle and between two others, then struck her. It isn’t clear whether the light was red or green at the time, said Monroe police spokesman Debbie Willis.
Pesce, who was not wearing a helmet, was thrown from her bicycle into two other vehicles. She was taken to Valley General Hospital and pronounced dead shortly after arrival. The Medical Examiner’s Office said she died of blunt force injuries to the head.
Anyone with information about the pickup involved in the accident can report it by calling 911, the Monroe Police Department at 360-794-6300, or the department’s anonymous tip line at 360-863-4600.