A Brooklyn Park teen struck by a car over the weekend died from her injuries on Wednesday.
Seventeen-year-old Kiersten Walko was leaving a house party in Severn early Saturday morning. A hit-and-run driver injured the teen when she was walking in the roadway.
North County High School sent home a letter to parents on Thursday letting them know about Walko's passing.
“Death is never an easy thing with which to cope, but when it comes so suddenly and to someone so young, it is even more difficult,” wrote Assistant Principal Ryan Sackett.
Walko was described as big-hearted, very affectionate, and incredibly loyal to her friends. She also loved to dance.
Social media has exploded with messages from Walko's friends showing support for her family and using #KierstenStrong.
Little blue circles mark the stretch of WB&A Road where Walko was struck over the weekend.
“There was a very large party in the area, and a bunch of people were leaving all at once and while they were walking in the roadway, a silver vehicle drove past and struck the 17-year-old victim,” said Anne Arundel County Police Department Lt. Ryan Frashure.
Walko was leaving a party in the 7800 block of WB&A Road, she was hit in the 7900 block of WB&A near Thompson Road. Police are still looking for the driver.
“We're trying to determine whether the person driving that car, whether they know they struck something, whether they think they struck an animal or an object, so we think that it's pretty clear that they knew they hit something,” said Lt. Frashure.
Police interviewed a lot of people. It was dark. They don't have an exact idea of the kind of car the person was driving but they do have a description.
“It was a small silver car with tinted windows, and our investigators believe that vehicle should have damage to the front end, possibly to the headlights and windshield of that vehicle,” Frashure said.
Investigators are also trying to determine whether the driver was at the same house party or a visitor in the area.
And they want people to know that they do not have a person of interest just yet.
“Contrary to a lot of social media posts that are saying we have a suspect in custody and an arrest has been made, that is in fact not true but we have interviewed several individuals, everyone we've interviewed has been very cooperative and we're hoping to find the individual that's responsible for this so we can give the family a little closure,” said Frashure.
A GoFundMe page set-up to cover Walko's medical expenses will now go toward funeral arrangements.
As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 300 people donated $10,000 in three days.
North County High will also have counselors and school psychologists on hand for anyone who needs them.