Grieving families support each other in tragedy

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

Related story

Two women pedestrians mourned.

The families of Irina Gardinant and Raisa Mosh are close. When Gardinant and her family moved from Moldova to Vancouver about a year ago, the Mosh family, also from Moldova, helped them settle in. Members of the Mosh family drove them to the grocery store and translated English into Russian. The two women quickly became friends.

Now, the families are supporting each other as they grieve the sudden loss of both women. They're

also asking for the person responsible in the hit-and-run crash that killed the two to come forward.

"When something this tragic happens, closure would mean a lot," Mosh's niece Irina Germanova said in an interview Monday. "There is no anger. It's just a difficult time. Our hope is in God."

Gardinant, 28, and Mosh, 45, were headed home from a baby shower at 8 p.m. Sunday night when, police say, a white pickup truck struck them on Vancouver Mall Drive. Mosh's 12-year-old son was crossing the street with them and also was injured. He suffered sprained leg muscles and a fracture in his hand, his family said.

"He's in shock, but he's OK," Germanova said.

Gardinant was a woman who loved life and was devoted to her church, her niece, Tatiana Constantinova, said Monday. After moving to Vancouver, Gardinant became a caregiver and quickly got involved teaching Sunday school to preschool-aged children.

"It was a huge part of her life," Constantinova said as Germanova translated. "They never missed a (church) event."

Gardinant leaves behind her husband, Dmitri, and a 2-year-old daughter.

"All day, her daughter called out, 'Mamachka! Mamachka!'" Constantinova said. "It's very difficult."

Mosh worked in Portland but still found time to care for her father-in-law. She was known for her pleasant conversations and always saying yes to an opportunity to help others.

"She was a quiet person who cared for her family," Germanova said.

Mosh leaves behind her husband, Georgiy, and four children.

Mosh's oldest daughter, who did not want to be named, passed along this statement about her mother: "She always knew what to say and thought of others before herself. Please help us find who did this."

Both families are asking anyone with information about the crash to come forward. Anyone with information may call 911, or the Vancouver Police Department at 360-487-7402.

On Monday, the Gardinant family released a statement: "We'd like to thank everyone who is praying for us and is helping us through these difficult days. Of course we believe the person should take responsibility for their action, especially because they knew the consequences. We believe that God will be fair."

Germanova said the Mosh family is finding solace in God.

"This is a very painful and difficult time, but through that we find our peace in God," she said. "As difficult as it is, we have peace in knowing we will see her again in heaven."

The two families have set up a joint donation account at Key Bank. Those wishing to donate can visit any branch and ask for the "Raisa and Irina Memorial Fund."