Man killed in hit-and-run to be buried next to mother


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The family of a man killed in a Winnipeg hit-and-run last week says they are fulfilling his wish by burying the 23-year-old in Waywayseecappo First Nation beside his mother.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 19/10/2017 (1984 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

The family of a man killed in a Winnipeg hit-and-run last week says they are fulfilling his wish by burying the 23-year-old in Waywayseecappo First Nation beside his mother.

“I’m following what he wanted,” said Nancy Gabriel, the aunt of Cody Severight.

“After his mother passed away, he said that’s where he wanted to be buried.”

On Friday, Severight will be buried beside the plot of his mother Julia Hunter, who passed away in 2012 at age 41.

Many friends and family gathered in the First Nation community of Severight’s family Wednesday for a traditional wake which will continue until Friday at Waywayseecappo Band Hall.

His funeral will be held Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at the same location.

Gabriel said her nephew lived with her in Winnipeg for the majority of the past year. Once a month, they went home to Waywayseecappo, where Severight made a point of visiting other relatives and his mother’s grave.

He never learned why or how his mother, found dead in a stairwell, passed away. Although no charges were laid in connection with Hunter’s death, she is listed as one of Manitoba’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

On Oct. 10 at 8 p.m., Severight’s died in a hit-and-run.

He was crossing Main Street near Sutherland Avenue, in front of the Sutherland Hotel, when he was struck.

Justin Holz, an off-duty Winnipeg police officer, is charged with impaired driving causing death and failing to stay at the scene of a collision.

Justice sources told the Free Press five or six fellow officers joined Holz for drinks at a downtown establishment in the hours before the deadly crash.

Holz was arrested seven kilometres away from where Severight was killed, about 30 minutes afterward.

Severight’s aunt wanted to publicly thank Waywayseecappo Chief Murray Clearsky for ensuring her nephew could be buried beside his mother.

“That was his wish,” Gabriel said.

Severight’s grandmother, Gloria Lebold, said her grandson’s passing has devastated the family, referring to him as a “happy little boy” because of his tender age.

For a time, Severight and his mother lived with family in Waywayseecappo, Lebold said.

“Both of his parents are deceased, and I’m the only grandmother that he has.”

Lebold also lost her grandson Cody and daughters Julia and Jennifer under tragic circumstances. Jennifer was found dead in a Winnipeg hotel room in the early 1990s.

At the age of nine, Severight was taken into Child and Family Services. Foster mother Karen Beaudin raised him until the age of 21.

Only about a week before Severight’s passing, he moved into his own apartment, Lebold said. He spoke of finishing his high school education as a way to “better his life.”

“It’s so tragic how he died. What makes me angry is that the policeman didn’t stop; he just left my grandson waiting there,” she said.

“The police are supposed to serve and protect and they’re always against drinking and driving. And here’s a policeman — drinking and driving.”

Holz is presumed innocent and has been released from custody on a promise to appear in court Nov. 22.

— Brandon Sun

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