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Ontario university grad killed ‘moments’ from her door by fleeing SUV was a ‘special light’

Police said Glofcheskie was "literally moments from being in her door and safe" and that the incident was a "huge" priority for investigators. Facebook

TORONTO — A 24-year-old woman who was struck and killed by a stolen SUV fleeing a RIDE spot-check in Guelph, Ont., is being remembered as an “extraordinary woman” and a “special light” and police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Investigators said an Ontario Provincial Police officer had an encounter with a 2007 Ford Escape at Arthur Street North and Rose Street in the city’s downtown core at about 2:35 a.m. on Sunday.

The vehicle then allegedly left the intersection and the officer followed northbound on Woolwich Street when the Ford left the road and crashed into a hydro pole close to Norwich Street East and Woolwich Street. Police said Grace Olivia Glofcheskie was gravely injured in the crash. She was transported to the Guelph General Hospital and later died of her injuries.

READ MORE: Charges laid in crash that killed Ontario university grad ‘moments’ from her door

“She had just graduated with her [master of science] in bio-mechanics and was sort of getting ready for the next phase of her life and she just had basically been celebrating. She was such a strong member of our community,” said Brenda Whiteside, associate vice president of student affairs at the University of Guelph.
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“As I talk to people they all talk about her being a special light. She was really positive and smart and … she engaged with everyone, she cared about everyone, she was just a very lovely woman.”

Whiteside said she was on the University of Guelph Gryphons golf team and despite being ineligible to play this year she mentored and supported the team and volunteered at the school’s exam centre.

“It’s hard. Whenever a young person dies suddenly … [the community is] still in that shock and disbelief right now and we’re in the middle of exams and we’re trying to support everyone,” Whiteside said, adding that she had spoken with the family and they are processing the news of her death and making funeral arrangements.

“The family’s here and they’ve spent a little bit of time with some of her friends and her advisor and I think that’s helpful for everyone to just have some time to talk.”

Police said Glofcheskie had just walked her friend home and was close to arriving at her own home when she was struck. Shortly after, the officer discovered the abandoned Ford rolled onto its roof and the driver had fled the area on foot.

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It was later reported that the Ford had been stolen on Saturday night from the Eastview Road and Starwood Road area.

READ MORE: Police watchdog investigates Guelph crash killing 24-year-old woman

“All we have at this point is the collision investigation that we’re investigating and the hope that either the person responsible or persons responsible will come forward, or someone will give us a tip that will lead us to them,” said Guelph Police Const. Mike Gatto.

“I don’t know what the mindset of the person driving was, what led to this, but all we know for certain is that whatever was going on, they left the roadway and struck the hydro pole and unfortunately she was there too and she got hit as well.”

Gatto said Glofcheskie was “literally moments from being in her door and safe” and that the incident was a “huge” priority for investigators.

“I think it’s hit pretty close to home for everybody especially parents, anybody who’s got a kid away for university or college or for any reason or just those people that live in Guelph and have their kids going out,” he said.

“Especially this time of year when people are starting to prepare for family gatherings and stuff like that, it’s horrible.”

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. The agency says six investigators and three forensic investigators have been assigned to probe the incident.

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Anyone with information is asked to contact the SIU, Guelph police or Crime Stoppers.

“If they have any information at all, even if you think that it’s too minute, it doesn’t matter,” Gatto said. “Let us have it.”

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