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Woman killed in hit-and-run was headed to granddaughter’s birthday party

Updated May 12, 2021 - 4:20 pm

On the evening of May 5, Mary Gelino was walking to her granddaughter’s 13th birthday party when police said a pickup truck ran her over in a northeast Las Vegas crosswalk, then left the scene.

Gelino’s daughter, Tiffany Angelino, had been waiting for her mother to arrive as family gathered at her home to celebrate her youngest daughter. But Gelino, 66, never showed.

Concerned, she called police around midnight, noting that she had heard about a hit-and-run down the street. She wanted to make sure Gelino was OK. Police transferred her call to the Clark County coroner’s office, which informed her that her mother had been killed in the 7 p.m. crash. Her death was ruled an accident.

“It was so shocking the way it was revealed, and honestly I’m really surprised,” the daughter said. “She had her picture ID in her pocket with our address on it. Maybe it’s just in movies where someone comes to your door and says, ‘I’m so sorry, I have terrible news.’”

Police said Gelino was hit by the truck while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk at the intersection of North Nellis Boulevard and East Lake Mead Parkway, about two miles from the apartment she shared with Angelino.

Police later located the vehicle that struck Gelino, which was described as a lifted, newer dark-gray GMC crew cab truck hauling a trailer carrying two ATVs, Metropolitan Police Department spokesman Aden Ocampo-Gomez said Tuesday. But they are still looking for the driver.

“A fierce defender and true sympathizer for the human condition, she was known for throwing herself in harm’s way to protect those she loved,” Angelino wrote of her mother in a message. “I wish in her final moments that someone was there to protect her.”

Angelino said her mother was a quirky woman who — despite suffering from osteoarthritis in her knees — did not let anything slow her down. She got out of the house nearly every day, the daughter said.

“She was just so fierce about living life on her own terms,” Angelino said, noting that her mother was originally named Mary Katherine but chose to go by another name, Mary Anjolean Gelino.

Angelino and her mother were best friends, she said, and despite Gelino’s independent nature, Gelino had lived with her daughter and grandchildren for years. Her family was always a priority for her, and she wanted to be close to them, Angelino said.

Gelino is survived by a sister, five brothers, five grandchildren and one great-granddaughter, named Rosemary in her honor.

Angelino set up a Facebook fundraiser to help with funeral costs. It had raised about $3,228 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Anyone with information about the driver of the GMC truck may contact Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555.

Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter.

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