DICKINSON, Texas - A Houston area high school senior has been killed in a hit and run. Her loved ones are now asking for your help to get justice.
17-year-old Ziyanna Jones was walking home from a Halloween party when someone driving a dark-colored SUV slammed into the high school senior, killing her and they didn’t bother to stop.
"The world lost the most caring person that would do anything for anybody. She would help them. She helped the homeless. I'm going to really miss her but I know God needed her more," says Ziyanna’s mother Zaneta Wyatt while clutching her daughter’s band shirt, which is now the closest this grieving mom can get to hugging her beautiful daughter.
"She loved everybody," Wyatt adds. "My baby was about to go to the National Guard. She was about to graduate high school. She had a bright future and they took it."
The Dickinson High School Senior had been at a Halloween party and didn’t want to miss her 1:00 a.m. curfew. So we’re told when her ride was running late to take her and her friend home, the two girls started walking. Around 12:30 a.m. the 17-year-old was hit and killed on Dickinson Avenue and the driver kept going.
"They hit her and ran. My baby didn’t deserve that. No one deserves that and just left her there," cries the mom in mourning.
The teen had worked at Johnae’s Soulfood Restaurant since June 2021, she was in the church choir and high school band leader of the Clarinet section. "I mean just a beautiful person, very respectful to authority, just a good employee," says General Manager of Johnae’s Soul Food restaurant Antoinette "Toni" Long.
The family doesn’t have life insurance for her so the restaurant owner is holding a fundraiser. Every dime in tips and proceeds on Wednesday and again on Thursday will help pay for Ziyanna’s funeral.
"I know it's going to be hard on the family and then also she deserved the best and she deserves a great celebration," Johnae Cotton, Owner Johnae’s Soul Food explains.
"It was just heartbreaking for her to lose her life, being so young so we just wanted to come show support," says customer Hattie Prudhonn.
Meanwhile, the teen’s mom wants to stop signs and sidewalks added along Dickinson Avenue and she wants her daughter’s killer caught. If you know who was driving that vehicle, "They need to come forward because she didn’t deserve this. She had a bright future ahead of her," says Wyatt.
Dickinson Police investigators say according to a witness it was a dark-colored SUV that hit Ziyanna. Detectives say the vehicle likely now has damage to the front end.
Even in death, the kind-hearted, loving teen is continuing to help others. Her organs were donated. Her high school bandmates are planning to dedicate Friday’s halftime show to this youngster who is gone but certainly not forgotten.