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‘Carnage absolutely everywhere’: Witnesses describe site of fatal B.C. hit-and-run crash

Click to play video 'A 35-year-old Ladysmith woman was killed after a hit-and-run crash on Vancouver Island.' A 35-year-old Ladysmith woman was killed after a hit-and-run crash on Vancouver Island.
A driver fled the scene of Saturday's crash at Oyster Bay, near Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. Kristen Robinson reports – Aug 30, 2020

The fugitive in a horrific hit-and-run crash that claimed the life of a 35-year-old woman on Vancouver Island is a man whose last known address was in Surrey, B.C., police say.

Last Saturday morning, the driver of an F150 truck was travelling south on the Trans Canada Highway about two kilometres north of Ladysmith, police alleged, when he crossed the centre median and collided with a northbound SUV, killing its driver.

Read more: Cyclist in hospital after being hit by wood hanging from truck on Sea to Sky Highway

A pickup truck and trailer swerved into a side median to narrowly avoid the wreckage, which caused a debris field stretching more than 100 metres down the highway.

“There was carnage absolutely everywhere,” motorcyclist Al Swanky told Global News. “I came across the most horrific scene I’ve seen in a long, long time.”

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The F150 truck had landed upside down some 600 feet, or more than 180 metres, from where it struck the SUV.

“I couldn’t believe where the truck was sitting,” he said. “He must have been really flying.”

Mark Kusznir, owner of Central Island Towing and a tow operator for 25 years, described the scene as the most violent he’s ever worked.

Click to play video 'West Vancouver police searching for hit-and-run driver who struck and dragged pedestrian' West Vancouver police searching for hit-and-run driver who struck and dragged pedestrian
West Vancouver police searching for hit-and-run driver who struck and dragged pedestrian – Mar 11, 2020

“The complete disregard this individual had for anybody else’s safety is disgusting,” Kusznir wrote in a Facebook post.

The F150 driver allegedly fled the scene of the “high-speed collision” on foot before stealing another vehicle, police said, which was later recovered, but not the suspect.

Investigators said they believe they’ve identified the man, whose last known address was in Surrey, but have not released his name.

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The name of the woman who was killed was not released either.

As the tight-knit town of Ladysmith grieves the senseless loss of one of its own, community leaders are urging the person responsible, and anyone with information on his whereabouts, to do the right thing.

“If anybody knows anything that can help relieve this pain of our community, step forward,” Coun. Rob Johnson told Global News. “Don’t protect the person that is responsible.”