Relatives, friends seek answers after deadly weekend hit-and-run

November 12, 2018 08:19 PM

Friends and relatives called for justice Monday after the death of an Irondequoit woman in an apparent hit-and-run accident.

"I was devastated that anybody would leave a body in the street," exclaimed Carol Boshears. Boshears lives on the same side of Bayview Road where police discovered 87-year-old Joan Dierna dead on Saturday morning.


"It's almost like desecrating somebody to me. Leaving her out in the street? Dead? An older woman?" added Boshears. 

The incident rattled neighbor George Haskins who says he periodically encountered the victim while he was out walking and that she would always give his dog a friendly pat. 

"I was shaking a little bit," he admitted, "because, you know, you look across the street and figure out roughly where it happened." 

Neighbor Jim Boshears estimated that he missed the incident by a matter of minutes. 

Earlier that morning, he drove on Bayview Road but saw nothing unusual on his way out. Then, he encountered a large police response on the way back to his home shortly afterwards.  

"I would've stopped right away," he said, "called the police, tried to get the license plate number.  I surely would have seen the make and model of the car."          

Dierna's family was a well-established, well-liked one in the community.

She and her husband Robert founded the Dierna Funeral Home in 1961 and loved ones described her as a family matriarch.  

"She was so much to so many," a family representative wrote in an email to News10NBC. "She was outgoing and funny. She was loving and gentle. She was fierce and fiery and passionate. She was full of life, so much so that her grandchildren often said they wished they had her energy."

The Dierna family pleaded for help in finding the hit-and-run driver and urged the driver to turn him or herself in.

"We hope this person can heal wounds by coming forward," the family statement read. "Someone who remains in hiding after such a horrific act, when they have the power to end a family's suffering, does not deserve to be walking free among us."

The Dierna Family Funeral Home, now run by Joan Dierna's son Robert, posted her funeral arrangements on Monday. 

Her funeral is scheduled for Nov. 26, the same day she and her husband had planned to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary.


Charles Molineaux

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