Arrest no balm for family of hit-and-run victim
Posted January 6, 2012
Updated January 7, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh police on Friday arrested the man they say is responsible for hitting and killing a pedestrian Sunday on South Saunders Street.
Joseph Daniel Rechel, 55, faces a charge of felony hit-and-run. Police said Melissa Johnson, 32, was struck while crossing the road near Maywood Drive around 7:15 p.m.
Rechel's neighbors in the area just northeast of the Meredith College campus told WRAL News that Rechel took his pick-up truck for repairs this week, including some work on the hood. Family mourns victim of hit-and-run
That information angered Johnson's aunt. "Anybody that can hit a human being – whether he knew he killed her or not – and drive away and stay away from that long, they are not worth anything. They have no humanity, no heart, no soul," said Teri Shaw.
Johnson's family gathered for her funeral on Friday, the same day police arrested Rechel.
Her mother, Tammy Johnson, said the arrest does nothing to ease the pain of her loss.
"I lost my daughter," Tammy Johnson said before turning to happier memories.
"She was always taking care of us. We were real close together, all of us," Tammy Johnson said. "It's just hard."