Update: Suspect arrested as hit-and-run victim’s family mourns

Janeth Wilson mourns her grandmother's passing.
Janeth Wilson mourns her grandmother's passing.

GARDEN CITY, Kan. (KSNW) – Garden City police say they have new details in that hit-and-run that killed an 80-year-old Maria Leonarda Macias de Ubiarco on Saturday.

Police said in a news release that 62-year-old Rafael Lopez stepped forward Monday for his involvement in the accident. Lopez is facing charges for leaving the scene of an accident, failing to provide information at the accident, and interference with law enforcement. A search warrant was executed at his home and the vehicle involved was recovered.

On Monday, the family of Maria Leonarda Macias de Ubiarco  spoke to KSN to share memories of the family matriarch.

Rafael Lopez
Rafael Lopez (Courtesy: Finney County Sheriff)

“She was just very loving, is the one thing I can say about her,” said Janeth Wilson, the victim’s granddaughter. “She rejected no one. She loved everyone.”

Maria Leonarda Macias de Ubiarco died on Saturday. Witnesses say she was walking across Kansas Avenue she was killed in a hit-and-run.

Two of the victim’s daughters, Maria Maldonado and Angelica Gonzalez, spoke to us about their late mother.

“Many people loved her,” Maldonado said in Spanish.

Gonzalez also spoke in Spanish. She explained why her mother was walking about, saying simply, “She loved walking.”

Wilson said, “There’s a lot of people that would say she’s like my grandmother, or she’s like my mother figure.”

Just days earlier, on Thanksgiving, the family was making plans for Christmas.

They grieve, knowing their future celebrations will be without her.

“She won’t be able to meet my baby that I carry in my womb,” said Wilson. “She’ll never be able to hold my baby.”

Now the family is hoping the justice system will help them find closure, even as they appreciate the help from the community.

“We cannot thank you enough for your prayers and your thoughts,” said Wilson, surrounded by her family. “We can’t thank you enough for coming to our side and sharing the news.”

The funeral will be held this Thursday in Garden City. Thousands of people helped spread the word online about the car caught on camera. Those people can send their condolences here.