A 62-year-old woman who was struck and killed by a city subcontractor’s landscaping truck on Aug. 22 near Crescent Bay Park in Santa Monica had worked tirelessly to assist the area’s homeless.
Janet Kathleen Watson Lilliott was a volunteer for West Coast Care, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit that reconnects homeless people with relatives in an effort to get them off the streets.
A public memorial is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday in the park, at 2000 Ocean Ave. in Santa Monica.
Lilliott had just left a West Coast Care meeting on the Santa Monica Pier when, according to Santa Monica Police, a truck belonging to the landscaping firm Tru Green backed into her as its driver was crossing a pedestrian walkway just before noon.
“The case is still under investigation to see if any criminal liability attaches to the driver,” said Santa Monica Police Sgt. Rudy Camarena, adding that the driver has cooperated with the investigation.
West Coast Care Executive Director Ron Hooks said Lilliott had volunteered for the nonprofit almost daily for the past three years. The group’s mission to reunite the homeless with their families “really struck a nerve with her,” Hook said.
“You got the sense that this is someone who was a genuine, real person. She made that same impression on everyone she encountered,” Hooks said. “I had just talked to her 15 minutes earlier. … She worked with us almost every day. This is such a tragic accident.”
West Coast Care has set up a memorial fund established in Lilliott’s honor and is accepting donations mailed to 1223 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 865, Santa Monica 90403 or through PayPal at westcoastcare.org.