Off-duty police officer, Justin Holz, charged after car crash kills 23-year old Winnipeg man
An off-duty Winnipeg police officer has been charged with impaired driving causing death and failure to stop and remain at the scene of a crash after a vehicle collision in the North End killed a pedestrian Tuesday night.
Global News has learned the name of the officer charged is Const. Justin Steven Holz.
The officer is 34-years old and has been with the Winnipeg Police Service for eight years according to the Independent Investigations Unit.
“Const. Holz was arrested by other members of our police service in the north Main area shortly after the collision,” Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth said Wednesday afternooon. “This morning I placed Const. Holz on administrative leave and removed him from all active duty pending the outcome of the criminal investigation and the subsequent review.”
“This is an unexpected tragedy and this officer will be held accountable for his actions. I want to make it clear that Const. Holz is being investigated criminally for his conduct and he will be treated accordingly regardless of the fact that he was a member of the police service.”
WATCH: Winnipeg Police Chief Danny Smyth speaks after off-duty cop Justin Holz was arrested in connection to a fatal crash
Holz had worked a day shift Tuesday, according to Chief Smyth.
The victim in the crash was identified as 23-year-old Cody Severight. He was rushed to hospital with critical injuries but later died.
“He was always laughing and funny,” his aunt Brenda Brass said. “It really hurts me. I’m still in shock.”
Police said the car crash happened around 8 p.m. on Tuesday by Main Street and Sutherland Avenue. The driver fled the scene and was arrested 7.5 km away in the area of Main Street and Red River Boulevard.
Holz was released from custody and is expected to appear in court Nov. 22.
Court records describe Const. Justin Holz charges
“Why would he just leave,” said Brass. “He is supposed to serve and protect.”
His family told Global News he had just rented his first apartment on nearby Annabella St. and he was expecting his first child with his girlfriend.
Brass said her nephew “was going back to school to get his one credit” to finish off his Grade 12 education.
Winnipeg police released more information at 2 p.m. during a news conference that was live streamed on this page.
North bound lanes on Main Street between Sutherland Avenue and Higgins Avenue were closed Wednesday morning through rush hour traffic but were open to traffic by late morning.
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