Victim in northeast Calgary hit and run identified: ‘He was a lovely lad’
Police say charges are pending against a 19-year-old man after a fatal hit-and-run crash in northeast Calgary on Monday night.
It happened on 32 Avenue N.E. and 26 Street N.E. at around 9:30 p.m.
In a Tuesday news release, police said a 2006 Acura TL and a white Toyota Tacoma were eastbound on 32 Avenue N.E. “at a high rate of speed” when they approached a red light.
A 38-year-old man crossing 32 Avenue N.E. was hit and killed when he “encroached into the path of the Acura,” police said.
Both the Acura and Tacoma failed to stay at the scene.
EMS said first responders performed CPR on the victim and transported him to the Peter Lougheed Centre where he was pronounced dead.
Global News has learned the victim’s name is Chundhun Rai Keedhoo, or Kunal as he’s known to his family and friends.
Jessen Mootoosamy, vice president of the Calgary Mauritian Community Association, said he’s been in contact with Keedhoo’s family back home in Mauritius.
“He has three brothers and his parents back home,” Mootoosamy said Tuesday.
“I talked to his younger brother and he told me Kunal came here for a better life, adventure. Like all of us here, we want a better life and to help out our families. He wanted to give back to his family what they gave him — work hard and send money back home.”
Mootoosamy said Keedhoo has been living in Calgary for about three and a half years and has no family in Canada.
“He was a lovely lad, lovely guy, always helping, always working hard… very jovial, joyful, always making everybody laugh. I heard a lot of good things about him.”
Mootoosamy said Keedhoo’s family is in “deep pain,” and not sure what to do. A GoFundMe campaign has been launched in hopes of getting Keedhoo’s body back home to his family.
“To send the body from here across the ocean to go back home is a lot of money — we’re talking about between $8,000 to $15,000. And that, in Mauritian rupees, it’s a big chunk of money. Some people have to sell their belongings to get that type of money,” Mootoosamy explained.
“All the money will be going towards the body going back to Mauritius for them to have a proper burial and proper prayers.”
The victim was an employee of the Husky gas station, which is located across the street from where he was killed.
In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, Husky said: “We are greatly saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts are with his family and colleagues. We are providing support to his family and co-workers, in whatever way they may need.”
WATCH (April 23, 2019): One man is in custody after a fatal hit-and-run crash on Monday night.
At around midnight, a 19-year-old man turned himself in to officers at the RCMP detachment in Chestermere. He was taken into custody and is “assisting police with their inquiries,” CPS stated.
On Tuesday, sometime between 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., the Tacoma driver turned themselves in. Police did not confirm the age or sex of the person nor the charges they face.
In a morning news conference, Sgt. Colin Foster of the Calgary Police Service (CPS) Traffic Section said officers seized the Acura TL about two blocks from the collision.
Investigators believe the two drivers know each other.
Foster was unable to confirm if street racing was involved but said the CPS encourages anybody who is going to “do something like that” not to do it on city streets.
“Find a racetrack — a licensed racetrack — to do that type of thing,” he said. “The roads themselves are not the place for it.”
Police are in the process of reviewing video from traffic cameras as part of their investigation.
Anyone who witnessed the collision, or the events leading up to it, is asked to contact the Calgary Police Traffic Section at 403-567-4000, CPS non-emergency at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers.
– With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News
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