29-year-old woman struck in Pontiac hit-and-run dies

Police arrest 31-year-old man for role in hit-and-run

Friends remember woman killed in Pontiac hit-and-run

PONTIAC, Mich. – A 29-year-old woman has died nearly 48 hours after being struck by a vehicle while crossing a street in Pontiac Monday night.

On Dec. 7, Vannessa Deanes was tragically struck by a Chevy Impala while crossing North Perry Street near Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The driver fled the scene following the incident.

Deanes was listed in critical condition Monday night, and ultimately passed away due to her injuries.

“Vannessa was very happy. Always willing to do whatever you ask her. She loved kids. She loved God. She loved her family,” said friend Janine Russini.

Russini had worked with Deanes for years at the Heritage Baptist Church, where she once helped out with children during Sunday school.

“She’s been with us for probably 10-11 years. Started riding the bus, started helping and wanting to help. She just wanted to serve,” Russini said of Deanes.

Police say it was a 31-year-old man behind the wheel who kept driving after hitting the 29-year-old woman. He was arrested just a short time after the incident when someone recognized his vehicle and called police. He was spotted trying to conceal the vehicle in a trailer.

“It makes you angry, cause all human life should be valued,” Russini said. “We’ll miss her. I know her family is grieving and if you pray for them, pray for God to comfort them.”

Local 4 is waiting to see what charges the 31-year-old driver will face.

Click here to visit a GoFundMe fundraiser established by Deanes’ family.

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About the Author:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.