'She was everything to me': Husband of Pasadena jogger killed by driver who ran stop sign seeks answers

A man from Pasadena, Calif., is seeking answers after a car allegedly plowed through a stop sign and killed his wife the day after Thanksgiving.

What happened: Yang Yang Liu, 33, was out jogging when a BMW 328i struck her at the intersection of Allen Avenue and San Pasqual Street around 11:19 a.m. on Nov. 26. The driver, who has not been publicly named, was neither arrested nor cited.

  • Liu, who had jogged the same route multiple times before, was killed instantly, according to Pasadena police. She reportedly sustained significant head trauma.

  • The driver, 20, was believed to be driving over the 30 mph speed limit when they struck Liu. Police are currently determining whether the incident involved criminal negligence, which would see the case forwarded to the district attorney.

  • There have been “general safety concerns” and requests for crosswalks, speed bumps and stop signs in the area where Liu died since 2007. The city has reportedly taken measures to address them.

  • Lt. Anthony Russo of the Pasadena police believes the incident could have been prevented. “Had the speeds been slower and had the party driving the vehicle paid attention to the signage and stopped for the sign, this collision wouldn’t have occurred,” he told the Los Angeles Times.

The aftermath: Liu’s husband of five years, Joseph Wirija, is demanding answers for his wife’s death. The police would not release the driver’s identity, and Wirija was told that an investigation could take three to six months.

  • “It was too short of a marriage,” the 35-year-old told the LA Times. “She was definitely my soulmate; she was everything to me.”

  • Wirija reportedly was struggling to eat or sleep and even contemplated suicide. His parents arrived from Singapore to take care of him, while friends have been regularly checking on him.

  • Liu, who switched careers from finance to media, was remembered by friends as a “force” who “moved mountains to execute her vision and that of her stakeholders.” They organized a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe to help cover her funeral expenses and seed the creation of a fund in her honor at The Wharton School, where she received her graduate degree in business.

  • “She will be remembered as brilliant, kind, generous, disarmingly witty and fiercely dedicated,” wrote Courtney Hayward, who organized the fundraiser. “Her passing leaves a tremendous void, and we will not be the same without her.”

Featured Image via GoFundMe

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