The grown children of the couple struck and killed in a Coquitlam hit and run Wednesday say they are devastated by the loss of their parents.

Coquitlam RCMP said two pedestrians, Juan Jose Rosales, 76, and Marta Rosales, 66​, were waiting for the light to change shortly before 3:30 p.m. PT, when they were struck by a silver Dodge pickup truck turning from Gatensbury Street onto Austin Avenue.

Both victims died at the scene.

"We cannot believe our parents are gone, they were wonderful parents," said daughter tearful Mayra Mehai.

"They were a blessing for us, our lives, our children. They just celebrated 52 years of marriage. I can't believe they're gone. I think I'm living in a nightmare right now."

Coquitlam RCMP Cpl. Jamie Chung said the driver fled the area, but was located by police nearby.

"After the collision, the vehicle stopped briefly and then took off," he said. "Later on, we received information that the vehicle was parked somewhere close to here and we were able to locate a vehicle and place the driver under arrest."

No charges and no names have been released.

Chung said police now need more witnesses to come forward.

"We need to speak to witnesses. If you witnessed the crash and have not spoken to a police officer, call us," he said in a written plea.

Children 'forgive' driver

In an interview Thursday, both Mehai and her brother Francisco Rosales told CBC News they are leaning heavily on their faith throughout this ordeal.

"They just celebrated 52 years of marriage. I can't believe they're gone. I think I'm living in a nightmare right now."- Mayra Mehai, daughter of the victims

"We are Christians and we bless (the driver's) life," Mehai said. "We pray for him and hope one day he will come to know Jesus as his saviour. We forgive him."

Rosales agreed, and said he hoped drivers would slow down on the road.

"Accidents happen, but people have to take care of obeying the traffic signs," he said.

Coquitlam mayor raises concerns

Meanwhile, Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart is calling for more action to be taken to prevent hit and runs and pedestrian fatalities.

"This is happening too often. It's an outrageous tragedy, and it's also a criminal tragedy," said Stewart.

"We've got to do a lot more work on ensuring our pedestrians are safe that are drivers are attentive … that our roadways are as forgiving as possible when the drivers aren't attentive, and the pedestrians aren't as careful, as they should be."

Police closed Austin Avenue between Schoolhouse Street and Marmont Street in both directions for the investigation. The road was reopened to traffic after 9 p.m. Wednesday night.


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Austin Ave. at Gatensbury St.