Balloon release honors beloved grandmother killed in Posen hit-and-run crash

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POSEN, Ill – Loved ones gathered Tuesday to honor a 62-year-old grandmother who was killed in a hit-and-run crash on Mother’s Day.

A large crowd attended the vigil at Abounding Life Church of God and Christ to celebrate the life of Annette Odneal. The grandmother was leaving Church Sunday when she was fatally struck. Odneal leaves behind two children, four grandchildren, and her husband of 36 years.

Police say a 17-year-old boy operating a stolen Dodge Charger crashed into Odneal. The 17-year-old driver remains in the hospital and has not yet been charged. A search for suspects, seen on surveillance video fleeing the scene, continues.

Family and activists on Tuesday called for answers and charges.

“What I’m reaching out to, I’m reaching out in prayer to the family of those individuals that ran down this street, got out of that car and carried that guy out of the car. I’m going to pray for you and pray that somebody in your family turns you in,” said community activist Andrew Holmes.

Holmes says the apprehension of those responsible will prevent another tragedy from occurring.

“They’ll be back in another car,” he said. “Somebody else’s mother, somebody else’s father, somebody else’s brother. They went out and got that car. If they got in that car, they should be charged accordingly.”

But the mood on Tuesday was also one of remembrance for a woman who touched the lives of many. Odneal’s son Anthony thanked all who attended.

“We love her and we don’t want her to go unnoticed,” Odneal said about his mother. “She’s going to live forever. I just thank y’all. Keep us in y’all prayers. I love everybody who took the time to come out here. I forever got love for all y’all.”

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