'Heart of Gold': Woman known to feed neighborhood cats struck, killed in Orlando; suspect driver sought

Neighbors in Orlando are angry and heartbroken after a woman was struck and killed by a vehicle, and the driver who hit her allegedly drove off without stopping or offering any help.

The woman was identified as 80-year-old Michelle Allen.

According to neighbors and a friend, Allen was homeless, kind, and known to feed the stray cats near the neighborhood.

"They call her "the cat lady," one person said. "Heart of Gold."

"She was homeless, and she would spend her whole social security check just feeding animals. That’s what she loved," said friend Debra Franklin. She said Allen was on her way to feed the cats when she was hit.

"When she got hit, the cats were all standing right there. You could see nothing but cats there waiting for her. My heart was broken," Franklin said.

Florida Highway Patrol said Allen was on her tricycle Monday night near West Lancaster Road and Calypso when she was struck, possibly by a black 2005-2011 BMW 3 Series. A passenger side mirror was left at the crash site and troopers are asking anyone with information, including repair shops or mechanics, who may have seen a similar vehicle with a missing mirror to contact FHP.

"If you see a black BMW that’s missing the passenger side mirror, please call 911 or dial," said Lt. Tara Crescenzi.

"It made me very upset. I was actually pretty angry that it happened. She doesn’t deserve something like that," said Joshua Burgos, who lives in the neighborhood.

Franklin said the intersection is dangerous with too many speeding drivers.

"This road is terrible. My husband don’t even want me to walk to the store," she said, adding that Allen was reportedly hit by a vehicle two years ago.