A RISING soccer star with the world at her feet was killed in a hit-and-run incident in Sydney's southwest yesterday.
As police hunted for the driver of the utility vehicle involved, family and friends said 19-year-old Natasha Gadd was "fun-loving" but also hardworking and focused.
Natasha had just been selected as a goal-keeper in St George Football Club's premier league side and was working two jobs to save enough money to travel to Thailand.
The 19-year-old's family have pleaded with the driver to come forward.
Natasha Gadd.Her mother Charmain Gadd broke down as she described Natasha as a "gentle giant" and pleaded for the driver to come forward.
"So much potential is now taken away because someone was doing the wrong thing and hit her," she said.
"My baby is never coming home."
Natasha was hit on Henry Lawson Drive, Milperra, just after 4.30am after getting off a bus from the city, where she had been celebrating a friend's birthday.
She was walking the short distance home with friends, who watched in horror as the ute clipped Natasha and did not stop.
Natasha died at the scene while her mother looked on.
We are still in denial," aunt Mel Gadd told The Daily Telegraph.
"We keep thinking it's a nightmare and we are waiting to wake up from it.
"(I'm) a mess ... but not as bad as my sister and mum.
"(Natasha) was working two jobs and just got promoted from state league women's soccer to premier league and was so excited."
Police yesterday said it was believed Natasha was struck by an older model white Toyota utility with a refrigeration unit in the rear tray.
Police said the vehicle may "have lost a side mirror as a result of the collision".
"We have appealed for witnesses to come forward after a pedestrian was killed and the vehicle involved failed to stop," a police spokesman said.
"The vehicle left the crash scene and was last seen travelling south on Henry Lawson Drive."
Natasha's cousin Danny Stone urged the driver to hand themselves in.
Mr Stone said his family had already endured too many losses.
"In the last two years there have been a lot of deaths in our family," Mr Stone said.
"To the (person who) killed my cousin this morning ... you better hope the cops find you before I do. "