'She just found joy in life and that was just her,' the girl's devastated father said of his daughter.
Authorities in Washington state have identified a person of interest in connection to the hit-and-run over the weekend that killed a girl and left her friend injured. 12-year-old Immaculee Goldade was pronounced dead at the scene of Friday's accident, while her best friend, Kathleen Olson, survived the crash with serious injuries, reports KING 5. The pair were reportedly walking home after a sleepover the night before when they were struck by a flatbed truck on 14th Street East near 14th Avenue Ct. East. According to the Pierce County Sheriff's Office, the truck was stolen from a local business shortly before the fatal incident.
HAPPENING NOW: A candlelight vigil in memory of Immaculee Goldade.— Jennifer Lee (@JennLeeTV) January 18, 2022
She’s the 12yo from Midland who was killed in a hit & run crash over the weekend.
Her family says she was walking home w/ a friend when the truck hit both girls. The friend was injured #FOX13 #piercecounty pic.twitter.com/5UrMo1LDHZ
The vehicle was recovered Saturday evening when investigators found the damaged truck at a gas station. They've also obtained surveillance footage of a person of interest which shows the person arriving at 8401 Canyon Road East alone around 7:23 a.m. He purchased a few snacks and paid with cash before leaving on foot. "They'll find him. Whether he wants to come forward, somebody will see him and will turn him in," said neighbor Cheyanne Carter. "I think he gets what he gets if they find him. Plain and simple. It's like, you don't do that," said Wendy Borg, who also lives nearby.
Fatal hit and run crash in Midland on 104th St E near 24th Ave E. Two 12 year old girls were struck by a white flatbed pickup. One of the girls has died at the scene, the other was transported with critical injuries.This is a photo of the suspect vehicle, has damage on front end. pic.twitter.com/Vdb59eiLzv— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) January 15, 2022
According to Kathleen's mother, Rachel Olson, the two girls were friends since birth. The last thing her daughter remembers before being hit by the truck, she shared, was holding hands with Immaculee and her friend saying "we're almost home." Kathleen, who was treated at the hospital and released, is expected to make a full recovery. Speaking to KCPQ, Immaculee's father, John Goldade, said: "My wife didn't even sleep at all, not even one wink last night. I mean, I just can't describe it. I don't think there's anything worse that can happen to somebody than losing their daughter."
The recovered truck was reported stolen by the owner.— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) January 18, 2022
This person was seen getting out of the stolen truck at 7:24 am at a Shell gas station and going inside to buy snacks.
If you know who this is please call the Sheriff’s Department or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS. pic.twitter.com/wxm3pZeHWM
"It was a little more than just 'Oops, I accidentally hit somebody'. This was somebody who veered into them and literally into the very large ditch in which my daughter's body was lying in for a couple hours," Goldade said of the hit-and-run. He revealed that Immaculee and Kathleen had asked to walk through the neighborhood as they hadn't been able to do much of it throughout the pandemic. "The two were very close friends, and they were probably holding hands, is what I understand, during this, because they just really were close friends. There was a lot of youth and innocence in them," the grieving father said.
FATAL HIT & RUN: Person of Interest— Pierce Co Sheriff (@PierceSheriff) January 20, 2022
Jan 15: two 12 yo girls were struck by a truck in 2400 blk of 104th St E (Midland)
Truck had been reported stolen, was later found abandoned
3 hours prior, person of interest was seen getting out of truck
Tips: P3 Tips app or 1-800-222-TIPS pic.twitter.com/qhsJJawMki
"She just found joy in life and that was just her," Goldade said of his daughter. The family has found some comfort in the community support they've received since the tragic incident. "It was just unbelievable how many people came out to pray for us and just support us," Goldade said, before adding that he hopes the driver understands what they've done. "I want this person to know that a lot of people are actually praying for him as well. If he's going to do anything right in this at all, he can bring a little peace to us by turning himself in," he said. The Goldade family is asking anyone with information to call the Pierce County Sheriff's Office at (253) 798-3278. A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help the family pay for Immaculee's funeral.
Cover Image Source: (L)GoFundMe, (R)Twitter/Pierce Co Sheriff