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Grandma killed by hit-and-run driver marks 4th tragedy for Akron family

Summit County Crimestoppers offers $2,000 reward
Lucille Palm.jpg
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 22:30:29-05

AKRON, Ohio — An Akron family that has dealt with multiple tragedies over the years is facing heartache again after a great-grandmother was killed by a hit-and-run driver.

Family members said Lucille Palm left her East Akron home on Neville Avenue and was trying to cross Arlington Street near Georgia Avenue when she was hit by a car around 5:45 p.m. on Monday.

Multiple people called 911 and reported the victim was lying in the middle of the road.

Palm was taken to Summa Akron City Hospital and died the next morning on her 63rd birthday.

On Wednesday, traffic investigators returned to the crash site and visited nearby businesses looking for possible surveillance video that may have captured the hit-skip vehicle.

Police said they were looking for a silver Toyota Camry, possibly an older model, that may have been involved.

Palm's daughter, Daris Palm, and niece, Towanda Palm, are outraged that the driver fled the scene.

"I don't understand how somebody can consciously do something like that and just move on with their life like nothing happened," Daris Palm said.

"How can you sleep at nighttime knowing you did that? I just can't understand why," Towanda Palm added.

Relatives said Lucille was bubbly and giving and loved singing, dancing and drawing. She was the mother of seven children. She also leaves behind seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.

"She was a beautiful singer," Towanda Palm said. "Every holiday we played some music, a song she liked and danced with her. Just dance and sing."

Relatives said Lucille, who was very excited for her upcoming birthday, was trying to walk to a carryout store when she was struck.

"I literally just talked to her at 5:10 p.m., so she was just going to the store," Daris Palm said.

The family has now endured four tragedies over the past 18 years, including the deaths of two of Lucille's children who were also hit by cars.

In 2003, 11-year-old Renee Palm was hit and killed shortly after she stepped off a METRO bus on Vernon Odom Boulevard.

In 2017, 39-year-old Derrick Palm was on State Route 59 when he was struck and killed.

The family said no one was charged in either of those cases.

"This is the third person in my family that got hit and killed by a car," Daris Palm said in disbelief.

In 2014, Lucille's daughter, Crystal Palm, was stabbed to death inside of her East Emerling apartment which was set on fire.

At the time, Lucille spoke to a News 5 crew about her heartache.

"I wouldn't wish that on nobody's family, nobody's daughter," she said in 2014.

Crystal Palm's killer, Brock Tipping, was sentenced to life in prison in 2016.

Daris Palm said doesn't know how her mom was able to deal with so much anguish—losing three children—and remain happy, adding that she was "a special lady."

The family is devastated over Lucille's death and can't believe they are forced to face another sudden loss of a loved one.

"We're all falling apart at this point. There is no more strength. It's like everybody is numb," Daris Palm said.

Summit County Crimestoppers is offering a reward up to $2,000 for information leading to the driver that hit Lucille.

Tipsters can remain anonymous when calling 330-434-COPS.

Daris Palm is urging anyone with information to come forward.

"Somebody should have seen something. At this point, someone should know something. It's ridiculous."

RELATED: Akron police seek information on fatal hit-skip that left 62-year-old woman dead