Family of hit-and-run victim's emotional plea for driver to come forward

"I am begging for you to come forward and rectify your mistake," the victim's son wrote.
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The family of a woman killed in a hit-and-run while crossing the street to attend an anniversary dinner have issued an emotional plea to the driver.

Barbara Mahigel was crossing Nicollet Avenue South at 43rd Street on Sunday evening as she headed to Revival with her husband Lou to celebrate their 52nd wedding anniversary, according to police.

But tragedy struck when the 74-year-old, who lives near Lake Harriet, was hit by a dark sedan driving northbound, which did not stop after hitting her. She died in the hospital the next day.

In a letter shared by Minneapolis police on Tuesday, Mahigel's son Mike pleaded for the driver to turn themselves in, by highlighting how his mother would have reacted had she been the person behind the wheel.

"I am begging for you to come forward and rectify your mistake," he writes. "Please accept the chance to give my mother the respect she deserved and her family the closure it so desperately needs."

Here's the full text of his letter:

To Whom It May Concern:

I’d like you to know that if my mother had accidentally struck you with her car on the evening of November 27th, she would have stopped. She would have gotten out of her car and hoped for God’s forgiveness. She would have hurried to your side and would have held your hand as you writhed in pain, and gasped for air while lying helpless on the cold pavement.

She would have prayed that you survived without serious injury and that you and your family would remain whole. She would have accepted the consequences of her actions no matter what they were.

She would have lived out her years with constant guilt and in constant grief, but she would have lived knowing that she did everything she could to save you and give closure to your family.

I am begging for you to come forward and rectify your mistake. Please accept the chance to give my mother the respect she deserved and her family the closure it so desperately needs. Mike Mahigel.

Concerns over intersection

This past July, the Kingfield Neighborhood Association held a meeting to discuss safety at the Nicollet and 43rd intersection, which is uncontrolled with an unpainted crosswalk for pedestrians.

According to Patch.com, drivers frequently ignore the law that states cars are not allowed to park within 30 feet of corners, and the neighborhood association was considering installing signage to remind drivers of this.

Officials are also expected to test out "ballards" that will protect the space at corners for pedestrians using the stretch of Nicollet from 42nd Street to 46th Street, the website notes.

The Star Tribune reports Lou Mahigel was half-a-step behind when his wife – who walked with a cane – was struck, as he was steadying her as she crossed the road.

Their son told the newspaper that his plea to the driver was inspired by his mother's life, which she "dedicated to civil rights in the 1960s, gay rights more recently and charity work on behalf of the poor."

Anyone with information about the hit-and-run suspect or vehicle can call Minneapolis police on 612-692-TIPS (8477) or by texting 847411, entering MPD, a space and the information.

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