Waterloo family mourns as authorities search for driver in fatal hit and run

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Randy Yaciw stands behind the counter of D&R Hardware as a picture of Darlene Carles sits on the counter, in memory of the woman struck and killed on Wednesday morning. (Photo: Carter Watkins / WHNT News 19)

WATERLOO, Ala. (WHNT) – A family remains in shock this evening after a loved one was struck and killed by a motorist in Lauderdale County on Wednesday morning.

While authorities continue their search for the driver of the vehicle who left the scene, the family of Darlene Carles tries to remember the good times they shared with her.

On Alabama 20, just three miles from the Tennessee line, Randy Yaciw was unsure whether to open the doors of D&R Hardware on Thursday morning.

Twenty-four hours earlier, a vehicle hit Carles as she tried to walk to the hardware store for her morning coffee.

Carles was Yaciw’s aunt through marriage, and she routinely visited the store for hours at a time.

“In the last five years, pretty much three or four days a week,” said Yaciw. “She was always here, had her own seat over there.”

Yaciw says he heard the impact from inside his store.

By the time he got outside, Yaciw said the vehicle was gone and his aunt was lying lifeless on the pavement.

“I still can’t understand how someone could do that and not stop,” Yaciw said. “It was bad enough finding her, but then find out somebody had just kept going, I just don’t understand it.”

He says Darlene Carles’ family is pleading for the driver to come forward.

Authorities have been able to rule out a couple of vehicles of interest that were in the area at the time of the incident.

If you have any information about the death, please call the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department or the Alabama State Troopers Quad-Cities Post in Sheffield.