The mother of a Calgary hit and run victim is speaking out after charges were laid in connection with the deadly crash.
Lorna Pantherbone remembers the last day she saw her son Blade Crow-Pantherbone earlier this year. There was the same affectionate goodbye but something was different.
“He hugged and kissed me goodbye and I told him I loved him and the weird thing is he came back and he said goodbye again. It was so strange. He had never done that before,” said Pantherbone from her home in Calgary on Tuesday.
Two days later on February 18, 2021 Crow-Pantherbone was walking home with his girlfriend Aliyah Ramirez-Bernard and her one-year-old baby Ember. They were struck by an SUV near the intersection of Glenmore Trail and Macleod Trail. Crow-Pantherbone died at the scene. Ramirez-Bernard and their infant were seriously injured.
“It’s the worst feeling in the world is to lose a child, especially just so carelessly,” Pantherbone said.
Crow-Pantherbone had struggled with addictions through his teen years but with the help of family he survived and thrived. He had just got his first home with his girlfriend, had full-time job as a roofer and planning to go to school to become a plumber.
“He cleaned up his act. He was such a go-getter. He was finally happy. We finally got the old Blade back,” Pantherbone said. “That’s what hurts. He was just snatched away just like that.”
Blade’s grandmother has been struggling with the loss. His funeral was on her 83rd birthday, on March 1.
“He was kind. He was patient,” Yvonne Scout, Crow-Pantherbone’s grandmother, said. “It was a shock. It traumatized me.
“It’s so unfair that he was taken so suddenly. Such a good man. Such a kind person.”
On Monday, Calgary police said that charges were laid against a 29-year-old Calgary man.
Damon Wilson is facing 6 charges including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death.
Police said excessive speed is believed to be a factor.
Pantherbone said she was relieved to hear that charges had been laid.
“To me it feels like my son was murdered,” she said. “You don’t just run down a whole family and just keep driving like they are nothing, like they are garbage.”
The fatal crash in February was shortly after another collision impacting Ramirez-Bernard.
In December 2019, she was driving home to Vancouver with her sister when they were involved in a crash near Jasper. Ramirez-Bernard was injured and her 16-year-old sister Rainbow Skye Bernard died.
Ramirez-Bernard and her daughter are both recovering from injures sustained in the February crash. They still visit with Crow-Pantherbone’s family and go to his gravesite in Calgary.
“This is a sobering reminder for all drivers of the irreversible and tragic consequences of driving at excessive speeds,” said Sgt. Colin Foster of the CPS Collision Investigation and Reconstruction Unit.