A candlelight vigil and tribute will be held Saturday in honor of hit-and-run victim Elizabeth “Biffy” Mancha, 46.
Mancha was killed at approximately 10:30 p.m. Thursday when an unknown driver struck her and her husband Dave McThorn, 53, as they walked their dog Dolly through Summerfaire Park.
The vigil will be held at at 10 p.m. Saturday in Summerfaire Park, located at Joett Drive and Fulkerth Road. A moment of silence will be observed at 10:30 p.m. for Mancha, who worked at Kirby Manufacturing in Merced for the past 10 years.
McThorn was seriously injured with a broken pelvis, leg and knee amongst numerous other injuries. He remains in the hospital. McThorn works at Myers Towing in Turlock.
Mancha's close friend Stephannie Sandoval, who has known her since the 6th grade and works with her at Kirby Manufacturing, says everyone was terrible shaken by her sudden and tragic death.
“Everyone is just devastated and it has been very difficult to deal with,” Sandoval said.
One spot of good news has come out of the tragedy. Though Dolly went missing for several days following the accident, she turned up at her owners' house on Wednesday, bringing much joy to McThorn.
“Dave loves animals and he loves that dog,” said friend Robert Mitchell. “He is sitting in the hospital knowing that he’s lost his wife and that dog is all he has left.”
A friend of the couple, Tiann Rouse, is collecting donations for Mancha’s funeral services. She can be reached at 209-765-5666.