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This article was published 11/10/2015 (2457 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The family of a Manitoba woman killed by a suspected drunk driver say was an "amazing" person who "loved what she loved with all her heart."
Taylor Renwick, a 20-year-old student in the University of Manitoba’s athletic therapy program, died Friday at the scene of a collision on Highway 2, about three kilometres east of St. Claude, after her vehicle was struck head-on by the vehicle driven by a 27-year-old man travelling at a high rate of speed.
Renwick, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, was headed home to Napinka for the Thanksgiving weekend. Napinka is a tiny community in southwestern Manitoba near Melita.
RCMP said they first got a call about a suspected drunk driver in Notre Dame at about 11 p.m. Friday. Police spotted the suspect car at a gas station in St. Claude and RCMP tried to stop the vehicle but the suspect sped off. Officers chased the driver but ended the chase because the high rate of speed presented a danger to the public.
Renwick’s vehicle was later struck.
The driver of the vehicle that hit Renwick’s vehicle was taken to hospital in Winnipeg by STARS air ambulance and was in critical condition.
RCMP said Monday there have been no significant changes to the driver’s condition. Sgt. Bert Paquet said Monday charges had not been laid as the investigation was continuing with the assistance of traffic analysts.
As per the Police Services Act, the Independent Investigation Unit of Manitoba has also been notified.
In a statement emailed to the Free Press by her family, Taylor was described as an "amazing" person who "loved what she loved with all her heart. She loved her family, friends and her pets (dog Kozmo)."
"Taylor was a shooting star that burned bright but, unfortunately far too fast."
Her family said Renwick loved sports, especially hockey. She started playing with the Melita Bisons and was most recently playing with the Aces in Winnipeg.
Melody Bodnarchuk, president of the Winnipeg chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), said RCMP were tipped off about the suspected drunk driver through the RID (Report Impaired Drivers) 911 program.
RID is in place in the Brandon, Portage la Prairie and Thompson areas. Members of the public are encouraged to call police when they see a suspected impaired driver.
"This is horrible. Our deepest, deepest condolences to the family of this 20-year-old young lady. She lost her life due to a crash that was 100 per cent preventable," Bodnarchuk said.
"We’d like to thank the person that phoned in. Reporting impaired driving through 911 is very important and empowers the community to be a part of the solution. I certainly hope that people will continue to phone in to report impaired driving. It reduces death and injury as a result of impaired driving by 50 to 80 per cent when people participate."
She said in this case, a death resulted from "the reckless, high-risk driving behaviour" of the suspected impaired driver.
She said MADD would like to see the RID 911 program established across Manitoba.
"They do a terrific job, the RCMP. We are working really hard, with the co-operation of the RCMP, to get the RID 911 program into the Selkirk and Steinbach areas, currently," Bodnarchuk said. "We are pushing really hard to have the RID 911 program also in Winnipeg."
The daughter of Wink and Vicki Renwick and sister to Danielle and Hilary, Taylor’s funeral is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. at the Melita Curling Rink.
Her family requested that family and friends not to wear suits or dresses to the funeral but instead wear jeans, hoodies or their favourite sports attire.
In their statement, Renwick’s family encouraged everyone to "live like Taylor. Love each other, be thankful for the people in your lives, love everything deeply and without waiver, be kind, live life to the fullest, always eat dessert, strive to be your best, never be afraid to sing and dance it out, and always be yourself!
"On behalf of our family please don’t drink and drive, there is always a better option, life."