Family Looking For Answers In Hit-And-Run Death

Saturday, May 24th 2008, 10:20 pm
By: News On 6

A Checotah family is hoping a $15,000 dollar reward finds whoever ran over and killed their teenage daughter. The accident happened about a month ago. Since then police admit they have very few leads.

The News On 6's Dan Bewley reports Crystal Strange was two weeks from graduating from college when she was killed.

A hit-and-run driver ran over the 17-year-old, that driver has yet to be found and her parents wonder if it will ever happen.

A white cross now marks where a life was lost. "God Bless, Crystal Strange" it says.

"It's just like a nightmare, it never ends. She's just gone," said Crystal's father, Ron Strange.

"I feel like when they killed her, they killed me too. Except I'm just still here walking around," said Crystal's mother, Linda Strange.

The bright 17-year-old was helping a friend with a class project, modeling for pictures in the middle of Texanna Road in McIntosh County when she was hit by a vehicle coming down the road.

"It all goes back to the individual that's standing right there when all this happened," said Ron Strange.

That individual is Ryan Lane. Besides the driver, he's the only witness. He told The News On 6 his story two days after Crystal was killed.

"They went directly into her, they didn't just glance her," said Ryan Lane.

His only description of the vehicle was that it was a white van. But Crystal's parents say an investigator has told them they're not sure that description is accurate and their not even sure it was a van that ran over Crystal.

"That's just another thing that drives us insane because somebody's standing right there in front of her, you'd think that'd be engraved in their mind forever," said Ron Strange.

The McIntosh County Sheriff says his investigators are continuing to check for leads. The problem, he says, they're not getting very many tips. He fears if whoever's responsible is from out of the county or out of the state they may never be found.

Crystal's parents hope the driver or someone who knows them steps forward and helps put an end to their pain.

"None of this can be reconciled with me because she's just too young. It's just a loss that'll never be healed," said Ron Strange.

Anyone who provides information that leads to an arrest could earn the $15,000 reward.

The family has established a special number for those who don't feel comfortable talking to investigators. The number is 918-913-2060.

Calls to Ryan Lane were not returned.