Johnston police ID hit-and-run victim, release photos of car

JOHNSTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Police are on the lookout for a black sedan with heavy passenger side damage as the investigation into a deadly hit-and-run continues in Johnston.

Police said 63-year-old Deborah Saritelli was leaving Cumberland Farms with her adult son and was crossing Killingly Street when she was hit by a car just before 9 p.m Monday.

“She was my rock,” Saritelli’s husband Anthony Saritelli told Eyewitness News on Tuesday. “She was the love of my life.” The couple had been married for 44 years. He pleaded with the driver of the car to turn him or herself in.

Police said they are in the process of enhancing video that shows a dark-colored, two-door sedan driving down Killingly Street just before the crash. Police said the car took off toward Greenville Avenue, and would now have heavy damage to the passenger side.

(Story continues below surveillance video)

Police are asking anyone who has additional footage that may be of assistance to call Johnston Police Officer Psilopoulos at (401) 231-4210.

Anthony Saritelli said his wife was deaf and often walked over to Cumberland Farms with their 38-year-old son to pick up various items. He hadn’t even realized they had left the house Monday night. She never made it home.

“Last night, she got ahead of him,” Saritelli said. “She was halfway across the street when she got hit.” Police said she was not in a crosswalk.

Rose Patterson said she heard the crash from inside her home and ran outside to see what happened.

“It sounded like a refrigerator being knocked over,” she said. “The guy was screaming. I looked out my window and saw the lady curled up on the ground.”

Patterson and her neighbor put out two candles in memory of Saritelli, whom she did not know.

“They were just crossing the street. It could’ve been any of our family members coming to visit us,” Patterson added. “It’s just really sad.”

Saritelli said he and his wife met more than four decades ago while working at a grocery store in the Olneyville section of Providence.

“She was my nurse, my caretaker,” Saritelli said. He is in a wheelchair. “She loved animals. She always wanted to live on a farm…we just never got there.”