Montgomery County

Police Find Car, Driver Allegedly Involved in Fatal Hit-and-Run in Wheaton

Luz Roa died after a driver hit her Jan. 17 as she tried to cross Veirs Mill Road at Ferrara Avenue. She was 59 and was originally from Colombia

Montgomery County police announced Tuesday they have found the vehicle and the driver allegedly involved in a hit-and-run crash that killed a woman in Wheaton, Maryland. 

The victim, Luz Roa, died after a driver struck her Jan. 17 as she tried to cross Veirs Mill Road at Ferrara Avenue. She was 59 and was originally from Colombia. 

During the investigation, detectives determined the car involved was a light blue Volkswagen Passat that had damage to the driver’s side. 

In a news conference last week, authorities said not many cars of its kind were registered in the county and called on the community to help identify the driver. Roa's family also pleaded for the person to come forward. 

“You can’t hide all your life. You are responsible for this. Come clean with yourself. Life is too short, as evidenced by the death of Luz," said Fr. Brian Jordan, the pastor of Silver Springs' St. Camillus Church, who spoke on the Roa family’s behalf.

Since then, police said they received several tips that identified the owner of the car.

Detectives were able to track the Passat down to Washington, D.C., and obtained a statement from the driver, who was released pending charges from the State Attorney’s office, police said. His name has not been made public. 

The car was recovered and is being processed as evidence, authorities said. 

The investigation is ongoing. Police said is up to the State Attorney’s Office to decide whether charges will be filed once the investigation concludes.

Police have not released the name of the driver.

Family told News4 Roa cared for children, disabled people and seniors in her job as a medical assistant.

“Luz was an incredible human being — very loving, very caring, very dedicated to her work,” said Roa’s sister, who asked not to be publicly identified.

Roa had been running errands and was just across from her own home when the driver hit her, she added.

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