ST. LOUIS — Family members said Shawntae Herron was recently in great spirits.
Herron, 46, of Florissant, spent Thanksgiving and Christmas with her relatives, and on January 7, the Florissant mom celebrated her birthday.
But five days later, her life was cut short.
"She was innocent. She didn't bother nobody, just helped people," said Herron's cousin, Shaniece Herron.
Herron's son, Keenan Love, said waking up and knowing his mom isn't alive is tough.
St. Louis police said just after 10 a.m. Wednesday, a man in a gray 2002 Pontiac Bonneville speeding westbound on West Florissant Avenue ran a red light and hit Herron's white 2017 Ford Fusion at the intersection with Riverview Boulevard.
Herron, who was going to visit relatives in north St. Louis at the time of the crash, died instantly.
Police said after the crash, the male driver ran off.
"Somebody dying of a natural cause, that's a different kind of ball game from a coward taking somebody away, just snatching them away in a blink of an eye. She didn't deserve it," said Shaniece Herron.
Shawntae Herron had four kids and was a home healthcare worker. Her relatives also said she was grateful to have recently survived COVID-19.
Herron's family held a balloon release and vigil on Friday to celebrate her life.
Meantime, police said they are still looking for the driver who fled the scene.
"I want him caught because he ran away and just didn't care," said Love.
"It's reckless. Just turn yourself in. That would give us some type of justice and some ease of heart to know that you are behind bars," said Shaniece Herron.
Police asked anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.