Nearly one year after a 19-year-old woman was seriously injured in a hit-and-run pedestrian collision on Kingsway, the driver of vehicle has not been caught.
“Someone destroyed her life and got away with it,” Malerie Rain, sister of Jordan Lees, said. “It’s very frustrating.”
On Saturday, May 13, 2017, Lees, who is now 20, was in a marked crosswalk at Tower Road, when she was struck. The crash left Lees with multiple contusions on her brain, torn ligaments in her knee and fractures in her skull, leg and vertebrae.
Lees was in a coma before spending about three months at the Glenrose Rehabilitation Hospital.
“Her life changed drastically. She can’t do the things that she planned on doing and she’s going to need help for the rest of her life,” Rain said.
On Monday, Lees said she has a rod, pins, and screws in her left leg. She had to relearn how to walk and has learning and memory difficulties.
“I can literally be talking to someone about something and seconds later, it’ll be gone out of my head,” Lees said.
She now lives in a semi-assisted living facility walking distance from the crosswalk where she was struck.
“She was really bright. She was really happy and really independent. Now she’s back to being 12 years old again, where she used to depend on people,” Rain said.
“It worries me because she’s an adult and she wants her freedom. She wants to live alone.
“I worry about her being by herself in her apartment. Is she going to leave grease on a stove?”
The vehicle involved in the collision — 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 not 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.
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However, on Sunday, Chloe Wiwchar, 16, was killed after being struck by a pickup truck in the marked crosswalk. Police said the crosswalk lights were activated when Wiwchar was crossing the road.
“The new lights are obviously not good enough,” Rain said.
“I was shocked that someone else was hit.”
Lees said she’s very cautious when using the Kingsway crosswalk.
“Usually when I cross the crosswalk now, I press the button and I look directly at the cars as I’m crossing,” Lees said.
According to a spokesperson for Edmonton’s Traffic Safety office, there have been two pedestrian collisions resulting in serious injuries at Tower Road and Kingsway between 2013 and 2017.
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