A white metal barrier runs along the median of Charleston Boulevard for a half-mile, an effort to deter jaywalkers. But there is a break in the barrier at the intersection with Arlington Street.
It was there, just before 11:30 p.m. on April 3, that Dillon had instructed her granddaughter to run across the street first, making sure the road was clear as the 7-year-old girl crossed.
Am’Unique Dillon Lover made it safely to the other side of Charleston, but when she turned around, she saw a car approaching.
The little girl yelled, “Grandma, run.”
“But she didn’t hear me, and the car ranned her over,” Am’Unique, now 8, recalled on Monday morning during a news conference at the same intersection where she witnessed her grandmother die.
Metropolitan Police Department traffic Lt. Greg Munson stood alongside Am’Unique and two more of Dillon’s grandchildren. Beside them was a smiling portrait of their grandmother.
“The sad thing, the tragedy of this whole story, is that this driver left this woman to die on the street with her granddaughter standing there,” Munson said.
The news conference was a plea to the Las Vegas community to help identify and locate the driver — to help bring closure to Dillon’s adult children and grandchildren.
“I know that the Las Vegas community won’t tolerate this,” Munson said.
A white Toyota flashed through the frame of a grainy surveillance camera from a nearby business around the time of the crash. Police then used damaged vehicle pieces left behind at the intersection to narrow down the suspect vehicle to a 2011 to 2013 Toyota Corolla S, which likely had front-end damage from the impact.
“If you please could just come forward because my mom deserves justice,” said Airreyata Dillon, the victim’s oldest daughter and Am’Unique’s mother. “My daughter, she has to live with this for the rest of her life, because she seen the whole thing. It’s very tragic, because she’s a child, and she has nightmares, and she has real bad days.”
Am’Unique, wearing a long-sleeved gray shirt with a rainbow unicorn, cried as she listened to her mom speak to reporters.
Later she told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that she misses her grandma’s home-cooking, especially her special potato salad.
“I miss her a lot,” the third-grader said. “It’s really, really hard because she’s not here.”
Dillon, who was 48, was preceded in death by her 11-year-old son, according to Airreyata Dillon. She is survived by her adult children — two daughters and a son — and her grandchildren.
“If you know anything, please call us,” Munson said. “And if you’re the driver of that vehicle that was driving that night, we are asking you to turn yourself in and do the right thing.”
Munson also reminded the public Monday that police understand that mistakes happen while driving, “that there is an error in judgment.”
“But when you leave the scene to leave somebody to die, that’s not a mistake,” he said. “That was a conscious decision.”
Anyone with information may come forward by contacting Metro’s traffic section at 702-828-4060, or, to remain anonymous, Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.