EVERETT — A couple of years ago, Hal Fisher and his mother, Rennie, lost their Bothell home.
The mother would wave a sign at passing cars for money. They slept in a van or an RV in a Walmart parking lot, until the car was towed and the motor home fell into disrepair, said Fisher’s sister, Maya Martin. They found a fifth-wheel trailer off Admiralty Way through the Hand Up Project.
The son had been caring for his mother, 80, while she nursed a broken arm and leg from a fall at their new home in south Everett, Martin said. Fisher left the trailer on the night of March 11 to buy cigarettes from a 7-Eleven blocks away.
Fisher, 56, never made it to the store.
He was walking east in a crosswalk on Evergreen Way around 9:20 p.m, when he was hit by an SUV. Police are searching for the driver, who sped north from Airport Road. Detectives don’t know if the traffic lights indicated it was safe to cross. The thoroughfare stretches to seven lanes in that area.
The vehicle was described as a tan early-2000s SUV, like a Chevrolet Tahoe or Suburban, witnesses reported. The driver hit Fisher, backed up and drove around the man to escape, according to police.
“Detectives believe damage to the SUV should be obvious, but not substantial,” Everett police said in a news release.
Fisher was left unconscious. As he was dying in the street, his bank and bus cards were stolen, according to his sister. A woman stopped her car to call 911. Fisher was taken to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett.
Fisher’s mother called Martin, a Lynnwood resident, around 2:45 a.m. because Fisher hadn’t returned from the cigarette run. The sister picked her up at home. They drove through the neighborhood in the dark, shouting his name.
“That area has a lot of ditches,” Martin said. “We thought, ‘Maybe he fell or something. Maybe he’s in a ditch and can’t get up.’ We were just grasping at straws.”
No one at the 7-Eleven had seen him. His bank card showed no activity.
“So we knew that something was really wrong,” Martin said.
They called a half-dozen hospitals, not realizing he’d been brought to the emergency room without an ID. He was listed as John Doe. A friend tracked him down by asking for patients who hadn’t been identified.
At the hospital, Fisher never responded when his sister asked him to squeeze her finger. He died Friday, according to the Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Fisher had a soft side, his sister said. He knew how to do needlepoint. He painted ceramics and built dollhouses. He cooked for his mother, cleaned for her and picked up their groceries from the store.
The son and mother went everywhere together, Martin said. On Saturdays when they lived in Bothell, he would tag along for bingo at the senior center, Martin said. He would pick roses from the bushes at their mobile home, and he’d give them to the elderly residents.
Martin hopes to have a memorial for her brother at the senior center. She set up an online fundraiser for funeral costs.
She’s begging the driver and witnesses to come forward.
“Even if you were there and you don’t think it’s significant, just call the police,” she said. “It could mean something.”
She also wants to thank the woman who stopped to help.
Tips can be directed to Everett police at 425-257-8450.
Caleb Hutton: 425-339-3454; firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @snocaleb.