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Police offer $5K reward in fatal hit-and-run

By Emiley Morgan | Posted - Jun. 16, 2011 at 11:40 a.m.

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SALT LAKE CITY — Just over a week after Brynn Barton was hit and killed while riding her bike along 700 East, police are offering a reward for information in the case.

The Salt Lake Police Department is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction of the person responsible for hitting Barton, 24. She was killed on June 7, while riding with a group of friends on 700 East near 800 South. The vehicle involved didn't stop.

Police have described the vehicle as a dark-colored, 1998-2001 Volkswagen Passat sedan. It is believed the vehicle would have received some front-end damage.

Barton was working as a nurse at University Hospital at the time of her death. Family and friends said she "loved life" and described her as adventurous and kind.

The day after Barton was killed, her brother-in-law, David Gatti, said the family is "hopeful" for the driver involved in the accident.

"We're just really hopeful, for the sake of the person who would carry around this burden for the rest of their life, that they come forward to lighten their own load, make things easier for themselves," Gatti said. "It doesn't get any easier for us regardless."

Anyone with information is asked to call 801-799-3000. Calls can be kept anonymous.

Meanwhile, both those who knew Brynn Barton and some who never met her have planned a benefit bike ride for June 17. The ride will begin at Liberty Park and travel a preset route.

According to an event announcement on a social networking site, those interested in participating are encouraged to meet at 7 p.m. on the southeast end of the park. The ride will begin at 7:30 p.m. Wristbands saying either "Live to Inspire" or "Brynnstrong" will be sold for $5 and the proceeds will go to two charities Brynn Barton supported.

"It's a great way to honor her by giving to a charity that is one she would be pleased to be working with," Dave Barton said, noting that a number of people they don't even know have been inspired by his niece. "People are moved to become better people because they see someone else living a good life."

The ride will culminate at Liberty Park for a slideshow and candlelight vigil.

A memorial fund has also been set up at Wells Fargo Bank in Brynn Barton's name.

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