Family marks one year since Norfolk woman was hit and killed

Posted at 5:20 PM, Jun 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-04 17:20:29-04

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - The family of Tamika Gastinell faced a painful milestone Wednesday, marking one year since their sister, daughter and best baker in the family was hit and killed.

Gastinell was riding her scooter home from work the evening of June 3, 2014 near Kempsville Road and Lowery Road in the Lake Taylor area.

Norfolk Police say Irvin Crutchlow was the driver who hit her and then kept going.

He was originally charged with DUI-Prescription Drugs but now instead faces charges of Felony Hit and Run and 2nd Degree Murder.

On Wednesday, Gastinell's family gathered at her grave site and were able to see her tombstone for the first time.

"It was hard. Very hard. Can’t believe it’s been a year. It’s been a year that she’s been gone," Sylvia Fields, her mother, told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo Thursday.

"I really miss her and just seeing her tombstone made it kind of like it’s really happened. Because you always think like I’m going to wake up one day and this didn’t happen," her sister Shanisha Gastinell added.

On Thursday, Sylvia Fields and Shanisha Gastinell were both in the courtroom when Crutchlow made another court appearance.

During the brief hearing in Norfolk Circuit Court, a prosecutor updated the judge on the case, including a brief synopsis of two mental evaluations that have been performed on Crutchlow.

He told the court that both show a combination of dementia and brain damage that mean Crutchlow is not sufficiently aware to be criminally responsible.

It's likely that a plea of Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity will be entered in the case.

Outside of court, both Fields and Gastinell expressed doubt whether Crutchlow was mentally aware or not at the time of the crash, but they hope a decision will bring them some measure of closure after a painful year.

"To a point I do and to a point I don’t. I don’t think at the time when he hit her he was insane. He might be now because I’m insane right now dealing with this and my daughter but at the time I don’t he was," Fields stated.

"I don’t know. Like I guess you know him being in a mental institution as long as he’s away from the public I think that’s best but I don’t know if he’s crazy or not. But I just know that he took my sister from us," Shanisha Gastinell stated.

Crutchlow is expected back in Norfolk Circuit Court later in June.