Friend of couple killed in KC hit-and-run: ‘The world needed them’

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Elvia Walters and Thomas Salistean

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Police have identified two people who were killed in a hit-and-run crash on Sunday as Elvia Walters, 36, of Lee's Summit, Mo., and Thomas Salistean, 39, of Omaha, Neb.

Police said the accident happened at 31st and Euclid in Kansas City, Mo., around 2:30 a.m. Walters died at the scene. She was a passenger in Salistean's Ford Mustang when the accident happened.

Courtney Taylor with the Make-A-Wish foundation knew Walters and said she will be dearly missed.

“El is one of those ladies always friendly, very nice to everybody,” Taylor said. “She was always smiling, just friendly, everybody loved her.”

Taylor first met Walters about two years ago as a wish granter through Make-A-Wish. Walters' daughter, Savannah, was battling an illness. She had a wish granted, a cruise to the Bahamas. Salistean, Walters' boyfriend, and both children all took the trip.

Taylor said it’s not only a loss for the family, but also the community.

“I look at pictures of them together all the time. It’s like, how can two people who do everything for their kids be taken away? I just don’t understand, it’s tragic they’re gone, the world needed them," Taylor said.

Police said the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident ran from the scene. That person is being sought by police. Anyone with information is asked to call the TIPS Hotline at 816.474.TIPS (8477).

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