MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Mike Mahigel is an only son who is struggling to come to terms with how his mother died so violently Sunday evening.

Barbara Mahigel, 74, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver as she and her husband walked across Nicollet Avenue at 43rd Street in south Minneapolis.

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“I can understand why you ran, I have empathy for you,” Mike Mahigel said.

Still, Mahigal won’t let himself feel anger towards the unknown driver. He says that won’t help convince the person with a guilty conscience to turn themselves in.

“I want them to know their circumstances are not prohibitive of them coming forward,” Mahigal said.

His mother was struck and killed around 5 p.m. Sunday as she and her husband, Lou, were walking to a restaurant to celebrate 52 years of marriage. She died Monday morning of her injuries, the day of their wedding anniversary.

“They saw retirement as an opportunity to go out and explore the community that they had helped support and build for a number of years,” Mike said.

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One person who witnessed the accident gave chase, but lost the driver further down on Nicollet Avenue. However, they recalled seeing a dark-colored sedan speeding from the scene.

Minneapolis police are going through surveillance video from area businesses, looking for any clues that might reveal the vehicle that struck Mahigel.

“Everyone makes mistakes, she understood that,” Mike said, recounting how his mother would have reacted.

But what her son really wants the driver to know is that the person they killed would have been the first person to help them. Friends say she was a woman of deep compassion and unending generosity.

“The longer they wait the more the consequences there will be and the more ambiguity and grey area my family has to suffer through because of your actions,” Mike Mahigel said.

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Anyone with information about the hit-and-run crash is asked to contact the Minneapolis Police Department at (612) 692-8477.