The death of a Turlock woman caused in a June 9 hit and run crash has sent a rural community into mourning and prompted a California Highway Patrol investigation to find the responsible driver who fled the scene.
Michelle Mims, 42, was struck and killed Thursday morning, June 9, as she was walking eastbound on West Main Street by an unknown driver. The site of the death is nearly six miles southwest of Keyes. Her body was spotted just east of Morgan Road by a passerby who called 911 dispatchers at 6:58 a.m. It’s believed that Mims died instantly.
CHP investigators have little to work with since there are no known witnesses, nor did the impact leave any physical evidence to indicate the make and model of the vehicle. Thus far the CHP has been unable to find any surveillance cameras along the route which may have captured images of the responsible driver and car.
Anyone with information regarding the driver or crash is asked to call the Modesto CHP Office at (209) 545-7440.
The death has crushed those who knew Sims in the rural neighborhood.
“My heart is just broken,” said Robert Mims, ex-husband of the victim. “We have a hole in our heart out here. She was the best friend I had in my whole life. I’ve known her 24 years. This girl was woven in the community tight.”
Mims was walking from her home on West Main Avenue – where her family owns Diamond Hay Sales & Transport – to see a neighbor.
“I was the last person to talk to her. She walked out the truck lot and I said, ‘Where you going, ‘Chelle?’ She said, ‘I’m going to see Bob (a neighbor).’ I said, ‘Alright, I’ll see you when you get back.’ She went there all the time. He was like a dad to her.”
Michelle trained cattle dogs and her efforts earned her 23 blue ribbons at county fairs.
Mims was the niece of Ray Souza, a longtime member of the Stanislaus County Fair Board.
Mims suspects the driver could have been on the way to work in the Patterson area since West Main Street is a direct route.