It was an emotional day for hundreds of Richmonders, as a community came out to say goodbye to a woman killed in a hit and run this week. 24-year-old Lanie Kruszewski was hit and killed while riding her bike on River Road Sunday.
Her service came just hours after authorities confirmed suspect 30-year-old Elias Steven Webb admitted to police he was the driver responsible for the accident.
Silence, tears and laughter were shared among the hundreds who showed up to honor Lanie Kruszewski. The large crowd proved to be a testament to the 24-year-old, who touched the lives of everyone she met.
"Life just won't really be the same without her," friend Kevin Smith told the crowd. "Every day will go by... just not as great."
Her field hockey coach Paige Hawkins said Lanie was killed at a time when she was the happiest she'd ever been. She loved her family, friends and life and found a love of her own with her boyfriend.
"Anybody who met her would never forget her," she said.
There are cards on a memorial wall at Maggie Walker Governor's School for anyone who wants to write a message to Lanie. Some of them read, "I love you and I miss you," "You will be greatly missed," "When we think of you our hearts smile."
There's also a poem written by one of Lanie's friends. It was read during the memorial service. It says, "Though gone too soon, so suddenly, known only for a while, we will look back and remember you fondly, our Lanie, the unforgettable smile."
But she will live on through the girls she coached on the field hockey team. They had shirts made up just for Lanie and will play next season in her honor.
"I think whenever I learn something new or I'm struggling with something in field hockey I'll definitely think of her because she was always there to help you with that," rising-sophomore player Catherine Leahi said.
There was not much mention of the man who told police he was driving the SUV when it hit and killed her. Coach Hawkins wished Elias Webb could have come to the service to hear about the wonderful person he took from them.
"I think people could forgive him if he would have come out sooner and said sorry," she added.
A large group plans to meet on Sunday to ride their bikes in honor of Lanie. They also hope to demonstrate biker's safety and rights on the roads.
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