Calgary police are seeking a male driver of a dark-coloured Dodge Grand Caravan, after a fatal hit-and-run in Horizon on July 21.
Police believe a woman was struck and killed at approximately 1:20 a.m. on the 3800 block of 34 Street NE, which is near the Whitehorn LRT station.
The alleged driver was captured on CCTV video at a nearby convenience store, wearing a grey shirt with stripes on the arms, and blue jeans. He is approximately 5’8″ to 5’10” in height, and is of medium build with black hair.
Acting Staff Sergeant Colin Foster of the Calgary Police Service Traffic Section said that investigators are looking into the reason why the woman was in the area, and what the circumstances were that led to her being killed.
“We’re trying to build that picture as to what happened, and the one person with the best information for us at the moment is the person of interest would like to speak to,” Foster said.
The primary interest of police, he said, was to give closure to the family of the victim.
“They want to know why, and that’s a reasonable request. Somebody is left on the side of the road and dies from injuries. It’s fairly callous. It’s no different than any other death. The family wants to know why and I want to be able to answer those questions for them,” Foster said.
Extensive damage to vehicle
SSgt. Foster said that due to the nature of the hit-and-run, there would be extensive damage to the Dodge Grand Caravan minivan.
"There was quite considerable damage left or debris left at the collision scene. The best way to describe it is building a jigsaw. We've got vehicle parts that we are able to narrow down the type of vehicle we're looking for,” he said.
Police have taken the unusual step in releasing a photograph of the suspect in the hit-and-run, because of the need to identify the driver.
"In this particular circumstances, we have brought this photograph out a lot earlier than we would do normally purely and simply because these threads are a long winded and we really encourage the public that if they can identify the driver or if they see the vehicle to please come forward,” Foster said.
So far, the public have come forward with a number of leads, but none of those have panned out to identifying the suspect, said SSgt. Foster.
"We are looking at CCTV, and we had one exceptionally good video which is where we are today. But without the public's assistance in this, this is going to be a long-winded investigation. The family of the deceased would like closure, and that's what I'm trying to provide to them,” Foster said.
The family of the deceased woman have been notified, and the name of the victim is not being released as to give them privacy while they grieve.
Consequences ramp up the longer it takes police to identify the driver
SSgt. Foster of the Calgary Police Service Traffic Section said that by not remaining at the scene, the driver has potentially opened himself up to criminal charges.
"Typically had the driver remained at the scene there may not been any charges in this matter. But the minute anybody flees the scene of a collision, they commit a criminal offence, and that is what we're now looking at,” he said.
"This is somebody's sister. It's somebody's mom. It's somebody's daughter who's been left on the side of the road with fatal injuries. You guys know me well enough by now, that's something I won't stand for. We will do everything in our ability to find this driver now and deal with him accordingly."
SSgt. Foster said that the man can turn himself in to any police station across the city, or contact the CPS Traffic Section directly.
He said that by coming forward earlier, that is something that the Crown could take into consideration if charges are laid.
For friends and family members of the person the police are seeking, he said that they should ask that person to do the right thing.
"If you have that close relationship, have a word with them. Ask them to do the right thing, and come forward so we can provide that closure,” Foster said.
"To be honest: if you were speeding, if you were drunk, if you just got scared, that's all well and good, and it's not something I'm that worried about. But at the end of the day, we've got an investigation. We've got somebody we need to speak to who may be able to help us with what we're looking at, and just want that person to come forward."
Anyone with information can contact police at 403-266-1234 or submit tips anonymously to Crime Stoppers.