In many ways, it’s been a long journey for 21-year-old Aliyah Ramirez-Bernard and her 19-month-old daughter Ember.
On Sunday, she drove from their home in Vancouver to be in Calgary for a court date.
The driver accused of injuring her and Ember and killing her boyfriend Blade Crow Pantherbone was scheduled to be in court on Monday.
“I’m tired,” Ramirez-Bernard said. “This is really hard for me. Going to the court, my body hurt and I was in pain, and it was because of this driver.
“I got stopped at the metal detectors because I have metal plates in my body now.”
In February, Crow-Pantherbone and Ramirez-Bernard were walking home with Ember when they were struck by an SUV near the intersection of Glenmore Trail and Macleod Trail. Crow-Pantherbone died at the scene.
Ember has a scar on her head as a result of the crash while Ramirez-Bernard is still in pain from multiple broken bones, however, she says the mental trauma is worse.
Two years ago, she and her sister were involved in a collision near Jasper. Ramirez-Bernard was injured. Her 16-year-old sister Rainbow Skye Bernard died.
“I got into an accident in a car, and I got into an accident walking on the street — not being in a car,” Ramirez-Bernard said. “So either way, I just don’t feel safe.”
Crow-Pantherbone’s family gathered to make posters on Monday in preparation for the court appearance. Several signs reading “Justice for Blade Crow” were signed with messages from supporters and adorned with photos of the young man.
“It makes me angry, the waiting. It’s been almost eight months since my son was killed,” said Lorna Pantherbone, Blade’s mother.
“How could you run over a family and just keep going? That’s what bothers me. I am sad and missing my son. I’m not going to rest until I get justice and we can get some closure to it.”
“I just hope we get justice,” Ramirez-Bernard said. “We just want to have peace for Blade (and) make sure he gets the justice he deserves.”
Despite all the hardship in her life, Ramirez-Bernard is thankful for the ongoing support from Blade’s family, saying she gained a sister and a mom.
“I just love Blade so much,” she said.
“Nothing will ever change that. His family will always be in my life. I am so grateful for them — (to) his sister and his mom — because I lost my sister and my mom and then I gained another one from his family.
Twenty-nine-year-old Damon Wilson is facing six charges, including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and failing to stop at the scene of an accident resulting in death.