'She was the glue.' Loved ones call for justice for Passaic woman killed in hit-and-run

Loved ones of Rachel McNeil gathered just steps from where the crash happened, demanding the arrest and conviction of the driver.

Joti Rekhi

Apr 13, 2024, 10:12 PM

Updated 42 days ago

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The Passaic community came together Saturday to remember a 58-year-old woman who died after a hit-and-run earlier this week.
Loved ones of Rachel McNeil gathered just steps from where the crash happened, demanding the arrest and conviction of the driver.
"Rachel was like the mother hen out of all of us... She was the glue, and I just don’t understand how someone could just leave her there. That’s the cruelest thing someone could do," said Denise Martinez, sister of McNeil.
According to Passaic Mayor Hector Lora, the Passaic Police Department used surveillance video of the area to bring in a man believed to be the driver. Passaic police also have in their possession the car he is believed to have driven. However, the Passaic County Prosecutors Office had not commented about an arrest or charges in its investigation as of Saturday night.
“When you look at her in the hospital, she had a tire mark on her face. That’s the cruelest thing that the person could ever do,” said Martinez. “I’ve been praying on this. I pray that that he gets convicted and I pray that they find him guilty. I’m praying on the process, the system, because it does work when it works, and I’m praying that they do their job.”
McNeil was remembered as a mother, sister and grandmother who would always put others first.
“She was supposed to see me graduate and go to college,” said Honesty McNeil, the victim's granddaughter. “It’s not fair.”
Authorities say McNeil was struck late Wednesday night at the busy intersection at Passaic and Aycrigg avenues.
She was pronounced dead Friday afternoon.
Family and friends at the rally wrote messages on blue balloons and then released them in honor of her memory.
“She [recently] called my mom. I said, ‘Hi Grandma.’ And then she said ‘Hi Amarye. I love you,’ and I said ‘I love you’ back, and that’s the last time I heard from her,” said Amarye Gardner, Rachel McNeil's grandson.
Anyone with information on the hit-and-run is asked to call the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office.


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