‘She made this place a home’: Husband of woman who died while rescuing turtle describes his anguish

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. — A Central Florida woman was rescuing a turtle when she was killed in a hit-and-run.


Channel 9 told you about the crash and the subsequent arrest of the driver last week. Now, the victim’s husband has a message for the good Samaritan who chased the suspect.

“That morning, I kissed her goodbye like I always do,” Rick Parrish said of the last day he saw Virginia Celli Olivo, his wife of almost 12 years, alive.

READ: FHP: Good Samaritan helps track down box truck involved in fatal hit-and-run crash

“She made this place a home, now it’s just a house,” Parrish said.

Olivo was killed in the hit-and-run last week. Miguel Valero Gonzalez was behind the wheel.

Parrish said his wife always stopped to save turtles when they were on busy roads, but this time, it cost her her life.

READ: Woman killed, 2 injured in Orange County crash

Florida Highway Patrol said after the wreck, Valero Gonzalez kept going. His box truck was pulled over at a gas station several miles away.

Police said he admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day and that he was driving on a suspended license.

A good Samaritan helped troopers track down the driver.

READ: Teen hit by car on busy Orange County street

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.