New York City police are continuing to search for a hit-and-run driver that fled the scene after a crash on New Year's Day killed a married couple.
Police responded to a 911 call of a collision around 5 a.m. local time on Friday at the corner of Ocean Crest Boulevard and Rockaway Freeway in Queens, according to a spokesperson for NYPD.
Upon arrival, officers found a 60-year-old woman and a 57-year-old male both unconscious and unresponsive with trauma to the head and body.
The couple, identified as Thelma Reid and Donovan Gibbon, were transported to St. John's Episcopal Hospital, where they were both pronounced dead.
Police said their investigation found that a gray 2011 Dodge Ram was traveling eastbound on Rockaway Freeway when it struck a blue 2019 Nissan Rouge traveling northbound on Ocean Crest Boulevard.
The operator of the Dodge fled the location on foot in an unknown direction while two other passengers, a 37-year-old male and a 33-year-old male, stayed on the scene.
The 37-year-old male sustained lacerations to the head and was transported to NYC & Health & Hospitals/Jamaica in stable condition and the 33-year-old male was taken into custody and charged with obstruction of governmental administration and disorderly conduct.
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According to ABC News, Reid and Gibbon were married for eight years and they were on their way to work at Sky Chefs at JFK Airport before the crash.
Reid's niece, Renee Vrightly, told NY Daily News that their family is "distraught" after hearing the tragic news. "We are a very big family, very close-knit. They left a huge hole in our family," she said. "I wouldn't wish this on anyone."
Vrightly described the couple as "hardworking immigrants" and "churchgoing people" and noted that they were "always together."
"Even if she wasn’t working, she’d wait there for him and he’d do the same. They really did love each other," she continued. "Everything they did was together.”
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