In the weeks after she moved from living in her car to a room at the Brookside Motel, Debbrah Marie Pesce impressed her neighbors with her willingness to give back to others despite struggling with homelessness herself.
An apparently impatient person driving a late 80s or early 90s Ford F-Series pickup truck killed Pesce while she crossed the street on her bicycle in Monroe the day after Christmas. The person driving fled the scene.
Pesce was 53.
Christopher Johnson, the manager of nearby Brookside Motel, said he and tenants were shaken by her death because they had seen her try so hard in recent weeks to lift herself out of homelessness.
Johnson said Pesce had moved into the hotel a couple weeks ago after living in her car for some time. While looking for a job and trying to find cleaning work, he said she would help paint the motel and volunteer at Next Step Community Resource Center, a faith-based, non-profit that serves homeless and low-income residents in the Skykomish River Valley. Johnson said he remembers her saying she helped with Next Step’s after-school children’s program.
“She was always such a sweet lady – she had nothing but she gave all that she could,” Johnson said.
Police say a car was stopped on Highway 2 at Old Owen Rd to allow Pesce to cross. The person driving the pickup behind the stopped car started revving its engine, then pulled quickly around the stopped car, striking Pesce. Pesce was thrown into the street where two other cars hit her.
Anyone with information about the pickup driver should call the Monroe Police Department at 360-794-6300 or their anonymous tip line at 360-863-4600.
Condolences to Pesce’s friends and family.