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Family of Westminster hit-and-run victim speaks out

The family of a woman who was hit by an SUV while walking her dogs in Westminster is desperate for justice, saying that the victim, beloved dog trainer Karina Garnat has been holding on for dear life in the hospital, while the hit-and-run driver is still free. 

CAUGHT ON VIDEO: Westminster woman walking 3 dogs victim of hit-and-run Wednesday

“At her own expense, the dogs all made it away unscathed,” the victim’s brother-in-law, Andrej Krecov, said of the three dogs who were not struck by the hit-and-run driver. 

Karina Garnat seen here with her three dogs.

The tragic incident occurred in on the morning of Wednesday, June 29. Garnat was walking the three dogs, crossing an intersection at Klamath Drive and Iroquois Road in Westminster when the driver of a new model silver Ford Explorer blew through a stop sign, slammed into her and kept going. 

“If you hit a pothole in the road hard enough, you’re going to stop and inspect the damage, let alone a person walking their three dogs in the morning, you know,” Krecov told CBSLA. 

Garnat’s 8-year-old Labrador Retriever, Amber, stayed with her the entire time, while the other two dogs managed to walk home, leading police to her house. 

“If it weren’t for that,” Krecov said, “Karina would have been Jane Doe with no information.” 

The victim’s brother-in-law also said the professional dog trainer shattered her hip, pelvis, cheek bones and lost several teeth. Along with her family, the 32-year-old Garnat spent her birthday in the hospital. She’s now just attempting to speak. 

“I applaud both the first responders for arriving early as they did and the team of doctors at UCI because they’re working miracles on her,” Krecov said. 

Garnat’s family, according to her brother-in-law, is overwhelmed by the emotional and financial support from the Westminster community. Detectives are now working with an outside company to enhance security video that captured the brutal hit-and-run, in the hopes of locating the SUV and the driver. 

“That person needs to come forward and admit their cowardice and turn themselves in, because this is inexcusable for any person to behave,” Krecov said. 

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