Chloe Wiwchar was headed home after hanging out with friends when her life was abruptly brought to an end Sunday night in Edmonton.
Shortly before 11 p.m., the 16-year-old girl stepped off an Edmonton transit bus on Kingsway and was in a marked crosswalk at Tower Road, when she was struck by a pickup truck.
“They told me that Chloe had been crossing the street and was hit by a motor vehicle and didn’t survive,” Chloe’s father Michael Wiwchar said.
The Grade 11 student at Victoria School of the Arts, who would have turned 17 in June, wanted to become a social worker and help disadvantaged kids, her dad told Global News.
“She was full of energy, full of life and outgoing, always trying to help people,” Wiwchar said.
“The other day is the last time I got to talk to her, say ‘I love you,’ to hear about her day,” he said. “I don’t get that opportunity anymore.”
The Edmonton Public School Board said their Critical Incident Support Services Team was sent to the high school Monday morning. The team consists of trained social workers and psychologists that can provide supports and counseling in groups, or one-on-one, for as long as is needed.
“She was great, she was nice,” Chloe’s friend Arianna Quinn said. “She always cared about everybody.”
Chloe was like most teens: she had a serving job at the Shaw Conference Centre and enjoyed pottery. Her father said while Chloe was always religious, she strayed from the church in her early teenage years before returning in the past eight months or so. Chloe became a born-again Christian back in September.
“It is with one of the most sorrow and shattered laden hearts that our family must announce the passing of my daughter Chloe. One of the brightest lights in my life has been taken from us,” Chloe’s mother Holly Lucier said on Facebook.
“I am struggling with the words of this post, as it is not something I ever thought I would have to write,” she wrote, adding she wanted to make sure friends knew of Chloe’s passing.
“May your heart rest easy my little Lilly. Forever my Lilly.”
Lucier also sent a statement to Global News, saying:
“My daughter was born with a strong spirit and was a beautiful soul inside and out, she was charming and charismatic and had a wild sense of humour. She’s left an imprint of herself for all who knew her and the absence of her voice and laughter will be forever missed.
We are totally devastated. As each moment passes, the reality sets in that we will never be able to hold our baby again.”
Two GoFundMe campaigns were launched to help take the financial pressure off of Chloe’s families. One was to support Chloe’s mom Holly Lucier, while the other is in support of her father Michael Wiwchar.
Paramedics responded to the collision scene in central Edmonton and rushed Chloe to hospital, where she passed away.
“They spent 40 minutes trying to resuscitate her but there was no … help, I guess. No hope,” her father said.
After the collision in the marked crosswalk, the suspect truck then left the scene, police said. An off-duty EPS member, who police said stopped for the teen, witnessed the collision and followed the truck while on the phone with 911.
Police arrested the driver of the truck a short time later, just north of 107 Avenue near 108 Street.
Shane Stevenson, 47, is charged with impaired driving causing death, over 80mg% causing death and hit and run causing death.
Stevenson is a partner with Dentons Canada law firm in Edmonton. In an email to Global News, a spokesperson for the company said: “We are deeply saddened by the tragic events that took place in Edmonton on Sunday evening.
“At this time, we can confirm that Shane Stevenson, a Dentons Canada partner in the Edmonton office, has been suspended from the firm pending further investigation,” read the email.
Stevenson was released on bail on Tuesday on a number of conditions, which include abstaining from buying or consuming alcohol and drugs, and surrendering his passport.
Kingsway eastbound between 113 Street and 109 Street was shut down overnight while the EPS Major Collision Investigation Unit investigated.
This is the second serious hit-and-run collision involving a young woman at that crosswalk in less than a year. On Saturday, May 13, 2017, 19-year-old Jordan Lees was rushed to hospital in life-threatening condition after being hit by a vehicle that fled the scene.
The crash left Lees with multiple contusions on her brain, torn ligaments in her knee and fractures in her skull, leg and vertebrae.
The vehicle — described as a 2002-2005, white, four-door Chevrolet Trailblazer — and its driver were never found.
The officer who investigated that collision said the case went cold because police have been unable to locate the suspect vehicle.
“Sadly, it wasn’t for lack of information as we had Crime Stoppers tips and lots of information from the City of Edmonton office of traffic safety, but none of the information worked out,” Const. Braydon Lawrence told Global News.
After the May 2017 collision, the crosswalk was upgraded to add yellow, solar-powered flashing LED lights on both the median and on either side of the intersection.
Police said Monday afternoon the crosswalk lights were activated when Wiwchar was crossing the road on Sunday night.