A 28-year-old man faces impaired driving charges in connection to a hit-and-run that killed a mother of two in Scarborough.
Toronto paramedics said they responded to a call about a pedestrian struck at Kingston Road and Warden Avenue at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday.
The driver initially fled the scene, but at 4:30 p.m., officers from 55 Division located the vehicle with extensive damage at Queen Street and Kingston Road, about five kilometres from the incident.
The driver was arrested and transported to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.
The 40-year-old female victim, identified as Karla Groten, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Toronto police said witnesses were pivotal in helping officers to locate the vehicle.
Police said the mother of two teenagers was attempting to cross the road when she was hit.
Dr. Roz Roach, who runs a shelter for abused women in Scarborough, said Groten was a survivor of domestic violence.
In a Toronto Star article published in 2015, Groten said she fled an abusive relationship and sought help at the Scarborough facility run by Roach.
Roach said Groten frequented the shelter when her children were infants and she was also employed there until recently.
Dawid Opalka has been charged with impaired driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death, over 80 causing death, dangerous driving causing death, failure to stop causing death and failure to stop fail to give name.
The accused appeared in court on Friday and was remanded into custody until Jan. 3.
The court heard Opalka was on an “immigration hold” as officials were looking for him.
Police are asking anyone who may have been in the area to contact police at 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 416-222-TIPS.
– With a file from Catherine McDonald and Jessica Patton
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