Family of Winnipeg man killed by suspected impaired off-duty police officer speaks out
A Winnipeg family held a vigil at the corner of Main Street and Sutherland Avenue Wednesday after their grandson/nephew was killed in a hit-and-run at the intersection Tuesday night.
Cody Severight, 23, was walking east across Main Street when he was struck by a 2006 Pontiac. He was rushed to hospital in critical condition but later died. The driver of the car, an off-duty cop, fled the scene and was arrested 7.5 km away in the area of Main Street and Red River Boulevard.
Justin Steven Holz, 34, a constable with the Winnipeg Police Service for 8 years, was charged with impaired driving causing death and failure to stop and remain at the scene of a crash. He has since been placed on paid administrative leave and is set to appear in court Nov. 22.
Severight’s family gathered at the scene of the crash in an effort to deal with their loss.
“This is where the accident happened, and this is where we feel close to him,” Severight’s grandmother Gloria Lebold said.
The family told Global News that Severight was going to school at Turtle Island to finish his Grade 12. He had just rented his first aprartment with his girlfriend who is pregnant with the couple’s first child. Severight’s aunt couldn’t understand how anyone could run over a person and not stop, let alone a police officer.
“He hit him and he took off. He’s supposed to be a person protecting people, not killing people,” said Nancy Gabriel. “That’s not right to hit him and leave him like that. He’s not a dog, he’s a human.”
As Severight’s family make plans for a funeral, members of the Independent Investigations Unit of the Winnipeg Police Service continue to investigate.
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