Dad who found driver who killed his wife recalls kissing her at morgue

EXCLUSIVE: ‘She was cold, she’s never cold when I’ve kissed her in the past.’ Grieving dad who tracked down 85-year-old ‘hit and run driver who killed his wife’, cries as he recounts kissing her for the last time at the morgue

  • Brenda Jean Richardson, 48, died after a white Lexus turned left into her path and struck her motorcycle in Corona, California last Wednesday 
  • Her grieving husband Rod Richardson tracked down the car involved in the hit-and-run, leading to the arrest of Tashiro Isa, 85, on Friday
  • Now Richardson has spoken exclusively to DailyMail.com, breaking down when recounting going to the morgue and giving his wife one final kiss
  • He said: ‘She was cold, she’s never cold when I’ve kissed her in the past… Her body was covered and the only thing I saw was her face and hands’
  • Richardson added: ‘I needed to get closure for my children, they were hurting so bad…They wanted to know why and who? I needed to do it for them’ 
  • The impact of the accident threw Brenda from her motorcycle causing severe injuries, including a broken back and her pelvic area was split in half
  • Richardson said: ‘I couldn’t hold her hand because her wrists were broken. I was able to rub her feet… I told her I loved her before she died’
  •  Through tears, he added: ‘My wife was the greatest women I ever met. She was my soulmate’

A husband who tracked down an 85-year-old driver who is accused of a hit-and-run accident that killed his wife, cried as he exclusively told DailyMail.com how he kissed his spouse for the last time at the morgue. 

With tears in his eyes, Rod Richardson said: ‘She was cold. She’s never cold when I’ve kissed her in the past. She was just lying there, her body was covered and the only thing I saw was her face and hands’, as he recalled his visit to the Riverside County morgue on Monday. 

His wife Brenda Jean Richardson, 48, died from her injuries after a white Lexus turned left into her path and struck her motorcycle in Corona, California last Wednesday.

Distraught from Brenda’s death, whom Richardson shared eight children with including a 28-year-old and eight-year-old twins, Richardson decided to go looking for the car so he could get answers. 

He said: ‘I needed to get closure for my children, they were hurting so bad, that’s the only reason why I went out to look for the vehicle. They wanted to know why and who? I needed to do it for them.’ 

Richardson, a former police officer with Oregon State Police, eventually found the badly damaged car, which led to the arrest of Tashiro Isa, 85, on Friday. 

Through tears, he added: ‘My wife was the greatest women I ever met. She was my soulmate. Now this guy who hit and killed my wife gets to go on with his life and I’m left with planning a funeral for my wife and raising our children without their mother.’

Brenda Jean Richardson, 48, died after a white Lexus turned left into her path and struck her motorcycle in Corona, California last Wednesday. Her grieving husband Rod Richardson has spoken exclusively to DailyMail.com, breaking down when recounting going to the morgue and giving his wife one final kiss


Distraught from Brenda’s death, whom Richardson shared eight children with including a 28-year-old and eight-year-old twins, Richardson decided to go looking for the car so he could get answers. Richardson, a former police officer with Oregon State Police, eventually found the badly damaged car, which led to the arrest of Tashiro Isa (left and right), 85, on Friday 

Through tears, Richardson said: ‘ My wife was the greatest women I ever met. She was my soulmate. Now this guy who hit and killed my wife gets to go on with his life and I’m left with planning a funeral for my wife and raising our children without their mother.

Richardson said he set off on his search after he was told by the Corona Police Department that the car that hit Brenda was a white or cream colored sedan that would have extensive damage to its passenger side.  

He said: ‘I jumped on my motorcycle and went driving through various neighborhoods near the scene of the accident trying to locate the vehicle that killed my wife’.

After driving in and out of several gated communities with no luck, Richardson said he decided to try one last one.

He said: ‘The gate was closing, [but] I was able to drive in before the gate shut. After driving around the complex for a few minutes I couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw what I thought was the vehicle.

‘I knew it was the car from the moment I saw it. The driver side of the car was badly damaged.’ 

Richardson immediately called the Corona Police Department, who were also out looking for the vehicle. 

He then shared a photo of the suspect’s 2006 Lexus ES330 on Facebook, writing: ‘It is the car!!! I think I found the car that killed my wife.’

He waited for police to arrive then left before they made contact with owner Isa, who was arrested for felony hit and run and misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter. 

His next court appearance is April 22 in Riverside Superior Court.

Arresting officer Jason Gardner exclusively told DailyMail.com: ‘When we questioned Isa, he gave us several answers about the accident. 

‘He first told us, he may have been hit, then he hit a curb, then he thought he may have side swiped a car.’

The impact of the accident threw Brenda from her motorcycle causing severe injuries, including a broken back and her pelvic area was split in half. Richardson said: ‘I couldn’t hold her hand because her wrists were broken. I was able to rub her feet… I told her I loved her before she died.’ Pictured: Brenda was driving this Kawasaki 300cc motorcycle when she died

Corona Police Department said the car that hit Brenda was a white or cream colored sedan that would have extensive damage to its passenger side. After driving around a complex for a few minutes, Richardson said he ‘couldn’t believe my eyes. I saw what I thought was the vehicle’.He then shared a photo of the suspect’s 2006 Lexus ES330 on Facebook (pictured), writing: ‘It is the car!!! I think I found the car that killed my wife.

‘Isa’s vehicle had been parked in his garage after the accident, the battery in his car was dead so he called AAA earlier in the day to give him a jump start on his vehicle.

‘They told him to drive the vehicle around the neighborhood for a short time to recharge the battery and then parked it outside in a parking stall. 

‘His car had been parked in the stall for only a few hours when Richardson found it.’

After police impounded Isa’s vehicle, they found parts of Brenda’s motorcycle inside his car.

‘Upon impact there were some motorcycle parts that were embedded into his vehicle. Isa told us that he removed these parts from the outside of his car and placed them inside his vehicle,’ Gardner added.

He also said Isa returned to the crash scene after eating dinner hours later, as the accident only happened about 300 feet away from his house.

Gardner said: ‘Isa told us he came back to the crash scene to see if he had side swiped any vehicle. I guess he checked the various parked vehicles on the street and didn’t see any with damage on it, so he went back to home.’

The impact of the accident threw Brenda from her motorcycle 30ft in the air and caused several severe injuries. 

Richardson said Brenda was conscious at the scene, but added: ‘When I saw her in the hospital you could see on her face the pain she was in.  

Just hours before the accident, Richardson said Brenda gave him big hug and kiss goodbye and told him she couldn’t wait to get home to spend time with him

With tears in his eyes, Richardson said: ‘She was cold. She’s never cold when I’ve kissed her in the past. She was just lying there, her body was covered and the only thing I saw was her face and hands’, as he recalled his visit to the Riverside County morgue on Monday

Richardson said: ‘Sunday was Brenda’s birthday, she would have been 49 years old, we were supposed to go have a nice dinner, instead I was planning her funeral and consoling our children. Richardson and Brenda had eight children between them – including a 28-year-old and eight-year-old twins. They are seen above with their eight children, including Brenda’s daughter’s husband 

‘My wife suffered two broken wrists, a broken back, her pelvic area was split in half up to her hip area- here entire lower extremities were ripped apart. 

‘I couldn’t even hold her hand because her wrists were broken. I was able to rub her feet and push her hair back from her face. I told her I loved her before she died. 

‘I only saw my wife for a few hours before she passed because she was in and out of so many surgeries. 

‘Over the course of the next 18 hours doctors frantically attempted to save her life, she underwent eight surgeries and more than 11 blood transfusions.’

Sadly, Brenda died around 2pm the next day with Richardson by her side.

Just hours before the accident, Richardson said Brenda gave him big hug and kiss goodbye and told him she couldn’t wait to get home to spend time with him. 

Richardson knew Brenda, who went by the nickname ‘Pinky’, from when they went to high school together in Washington State, later reconnecting and getting married three years ago. 

She was a US Navy Veteran and worked at the Veterans Affairs in Long Beach, California for the past 22 years.

Richardson said: ‘Sunday was Brenda’s birthday, she would have been 49 years old, we were supposed to go have a nice dinner, instead I was planning her funeral and consoling our children. 

Richardson knew Brenda, who went by the nickname ‘Pinky’, from when they went to high school together in Washington State, later reconnecting and getting married three years ago. She was a US Navy Veteran and worked at the Veterans Affairs in Long Beach, California for the past 22 years 

The Richardson family have started a GoFundMe account to cover funeral expenses scheduled at the end of the month in Brenda’s home state of Washington

‘For her birthday gift she wanted me to rewire our house to make it a ”smart house.” I’m still going to follow through with that gift. There isn’t a thing I don’t miss about her. ‘

Richardson said he doesn’t hate Isa, but wonders why he didn’t stop when he allegedly hit Brenda, saying: ‘Even if he thought he hit a curb, one would usually stop and assess the damage to the vehicle, not just drive off.

‘I was notified on Facebook a few days ago [Isa] hit [someone else’s] vehicle, [but] they didn’t report the accident. I was dumbfounded, because if these people would have turned him in for that accident because of his age, who knows? 

‘I just hope he can make it right with God because God is going to be the one that’s going to judge him.’

The Richardson family have started a GoFundMe account to cover funeral expenses scheduled at the end of the month in Brenda’s home state of Washington. 

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