Brother of hit-and-run victim: 'she lived with so much love and compassion'

Detectives look for driver in deadly hit-and-run

PORTLAND, Ore. – A woman who suffered serious injuries in a hit-and-run crash in Southeast Portland on June 22 died on Saturday, according to a post by her brother on a GoFundMe page.

The victim, 26-year-old Erin Catherine Brenneman of Portland, was a beloved manager at Hungry Heart Bakery. She was taking a break outside the bakery, near Southeast 80th Avenue and Pine Street, when she was hit at 3 p.m.

When the normally punctual Brenneman didn't return back to work, her coworkers became concerned and searched for her. They found her lying in the street, fighting for her life. 

"It doesn't seem real. It shouldn't be real," said Brenneman's older brother, Jesse.

The driver left the scene of the crash, police said. Brenneman was rushed to a nearby hospital. She passed away three weeks later.

"There's something good to know she's no longer suffering, but then I know it'll get harder day by day as you live with the fact this person is gone so much sooner than they should've been," said Jesse Brenneman.

A post on Hungry Heart Bakery's Instagram page said "the loss has shaken the entire staff" and that Brenneman was "the heart of the bakery."

 

Hello friends, As many of you know, a member of the Hungry Heart team was involved in a hit and run accident about 3 weeks ago. I wanted to say thank you to everyone who has offered support and donated to the fund to help with her medical costs, whether in person at the shop or on the Go Fund Me page. We are truly grateful to be part of such an amazing community that supports its people and jumps to action when called. I am incredibly saddened to say that Erin passed away in the early morning hours of Saturday, July 15th. We waited until last night/this morning before releasing the news to the public to give the staff and her family a moment to process this loss. As so many of you have experienced when you've come to the bakery for your morning coffee or pastry, the staff is very close and we truly are a family. Erin was hired about 10 months after the bakery opened and has been with us through most of our awkward and fast growth. She was such an integral part of what made our shop a wonderful place to be, and i considered her the heart of the bakery. This loss has shaken the entire staff, but we do take great comfort in the care and tenderness that you all have shown during this ordeal. Thank you to everyone who has already stopped by to offer words of condolences or flowers. We appreciate you more than we can say. Please know that the next few weeks will be a rough road for our bakery family and while we welcome well wishes, we do ask that no one press staff for any details about her passing or to ask about memorial services. We will post on the go fund me page as well as this group when we have more info. if you have any other questions, you are wecome to email me personally at hungryheartpdx@gmail.com. Thank you again for being so wonderful and for joining us in mourning her loss. Sincerely, - Jax owner, Hungry Heart Bakery

A post shared by Hungry Heart (@hungryheartpdx) on

 

Jesse Brenneman wrote on the GoFundMe page that she was "at peace, in no pain, and surrounded by friends and loved ones" when she died.

"Part of the reason the community's been so incredible around her is because she lived with so much love and compassion for other people," he said.

"It's hard for us, who have a lot of pain and anger right now, but I know Erin would forgive this person, I think, which is pretty overwhelming and that's the person she was."

Police have not identified a suspect and they have not found witnesses. Based on camera footage, they say the suspect's vehicle is a dark-colored mid-90s full-size four-wheel-drive pickup truck. The truck may have minor damage to the center of the grill or front bumper.

The photo below is similar in size, shape and color to the suspect's truck.

People who live and work in the area said the intersection has been a dangerous one for some time.

"Often we'll have to jump out of the way of a speeding car," said neighbor Cliff Simpson.

"Nobody ever stops at the intersection because the stop sign isn't well placed," said nearby business owner Matias Brecher. "By the time you get into the intersection, you pass the stop sign."

The police bureau’s Major Crash Team is investigating. Anyone with information is asked to call police at 503-823-3333.

© 2017 KGW-TV


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