Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Charges laid in overpass hit-and-run

Screaming woman's companion victim of hit and run

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A 27-year-old man turned himself into police Sunday afternoon in connection with a hit-and-run earlier in the day that sent a young man to hospital in critical condition.

The man is facing charges of failing to remain at the scene of an accident causing bodily harm and driving without a licence, police said.

The 18-year-old victim was walking on the overpass ramp at the south Perimeter Highway at Lagimodiere Boulevard when he was struck by a northbound vehicle.

The force of the collision knocked the man over a divider and into the southbound lanes.

Police said the victim remains in critical condition.

Motorists' nightmare

Wayne Towns came across the nightmare scenario while driving home on Lagimodiere Boulevard early Sunday morning.

At about 3:42 a.m., as he approached the South Perimeter overpass on his way to his Ile-des-Chenes home, a frantic young woman suddenly appeared in Towns' headlights.

"I almost hit her; she just appeared out of the darkness," Towns, 40, said. "I heard her screaming and it looked like she had baggage on the highway beside her.

"She was yelling, 'He got hit, he got hit!' "

The baggage turned out to be the crumpled body of the woman's young companion.

Towns said he called 911 while still inside the car and was talking to the dispatcher when he jumped out to see what had happened to the man.

"He was barely breathing... he was in very bad shape," Towns said. "The young woman was screaming. He wasn't moving."

Couple walking home from party

The woman said she and her friend had been to a house party nearby when they began walking home.

They were arguing, Towns said, and the young man stepped out into the middle of the northbound lane.

"She kept repeating over and over, 'I told him to get off the road, I told him but...,' " Towns said. "He wouldn't get off the road. It looks like he let the car hit him."

Towns said the young man was struck by a northbound vehicle on the overpass. The impact threw the man over the one-metre-tall median and into the southbound lanes. Some of the man's clothing remained in the northbound lane.

That vehicle did not stop.

The young man was unconscious and bleeding.

"I stayed with her until the paramedics came."

Towns, the manager of the family-owned Windsor Hotel, said paramedics arrived within minutes of his call.

"They were super fast; I couldn't believe it."

Towns said the overpass is poorly lit, adding he wasn't surprised the man was hit by a vehicle.

"I almost hit his girlfriend. I only saw her at the last minute."

Police closed both the northbound and southbound lanes of Lagimodiere at the overpass for several hours, while traffic collision analysts gathered evidence.

The highway was reopened by 1 p.m.

Towns said he found a broken side mirror on the highway, adding he believed it belonged to the vehicle that struck the young man.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 1, 2012 A3


Updated on Monday, October 1, 2012 at 10:47 AM CDT: Corrects quotation in story.

1:00 PM: Adds information about charges.

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