A Winnipeg man has been charged with criminal negligence in the death of his common-law wife, who police said was pushed out of a truck and run over by its rear wheels.
Jennie Lynda Lee Graves, 35, was critically injured near St. Anne's Road and St. Mary's Road around 2:30 a.m. Wednesday. She was rushed to hospital, where she later died.
The driver, Keith Ryan Thompson, 35, is charged with criminal negligence causing death, impaired driving causing death and failure to remain at the scene of an accident.
' ...Something tragic happened, and it's a sad day for us'
Police said Graves was a passenger in a Popeye's Movers truck driven by Thompson, a Popeye's employee, when an argument occurred.
It turned into a physical confrontation, police said. Thompson is accused of pushing Graves out of the moving van. She was struck by the rear wheels of the vehicle.
It's alleged the driver continued driving for several blocks. Police said a witness who saw Graves get run over, but not pushed from the vehicle, followed the suspect and later took him back to the scene of the incident. Another passerby stayed with the victim during that time.
"The witness was able to bring the suspect back for whatever reason... We can speculate all we want as to why he continued to drive off and then agreed to go back. But at the end of the day, that's what happened," Const. Eric Hofley said.
Popeye's owner, Mark Routley, said Thompson has worked for the company on and off for five years.
He said Thompson wasn't authorized to use the Popeye's vehicle during his personal time, and this was the first time the company was aware he had driven the moving truck outside of working hours.
Routley confirmed Thompson has been fired.
"Keith is a great guy and I don't know what happened, I haven't heard all the details. But something tragic happened, and it's a sad day for us," Routley said.
"He was an excellent employee."
Police said Graves is the city's 18th homicide victim of the year. The Crown has not laid a homicide-related charge against Thompson.
Still, Hofley said the charges could be upgraded.
"At this point, these have been deemed to be the appropriate charges. Whether that may change in the future is always a possibility, depending upon if any further evidence comes to light," Hofley said.
Thompson remained in custody Thursday.
Graves' family and mutual friends of the couple declined requests for interviews Thursday.