A man allegedly fleeing Winnipeg in a stolen truck while high on drugs is accused of hitting two children riding their bikes on the side of a road Friday night, killing one and leaving the other injured, RCMP said.
The driver, a 29-year-old man, fled the scene.
Two 15-year-old boys were riding their bikes on the shoulder of Donald Road in the RM of St. Andrews, just off Highway 9, when the truck slammed into them around 11:30 p.m.
After the two boys were thrown into the ditch, the driver fled from the broken down truck on foot.
Not long after the crash, Brent Polson, a 45-year-old father of two young boys who lives a few doors down from the crash scene, noticed flashing red and blue lights as he pulled into his driveway.
As he got out of his car, he heard an ambulance and the sound of firefighters being dispatched from the nearby fire hall. Polson, a former volunteer firefighter, knew that meant something serious had happened.
"There was a stop sign knocked over and laying in the front yard, about 15, 20 feet away from the truck. Its grille was smashed, the hood was buckled, and the back box was buckled, too," Polson said.
He started talking with a neighbour who had also gome out to investigate the commotion. Soon after, an RCMP officer approached them and said two boys had been hit and one was dead.
The other boy hit by the truck was rushed to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
"She said it was a crime scene," Polson recalled.
It wasn’t the first time Polson had seen a crash scene that bad. Early in his career as a volunteer firefighter, he said he was dispatched to an accident where a car full of teens rolled in the ditch.
"Some of the kids were deceased and it was later found out the driver was drunk. Being on a major highway like this, we get lots of motor vehicle accidents," Polson said.
That stretch of highway was pitch black Friday night, with no ambient light even from the moon, Polson said. As the investigation continued, flashlights illuminated patches of darkness while RCMP officers combed the area.
Soon after, the sound of helicopter blades filled the air and a floodlight from the aircraft killed the darkness. A canine unit was dispatched, quickly picking up the scent of the driver. RCMP found him hiding in a different vehicle on Donald Road.
He remains in custody and is facing numerous serious charges. Drugs are believed to be a factor, RCMP said.
St. Andrews Mayor George Pike, a retired 30 year-member of the Winnipeg Police Service, characterized the community as tight-knit and completely in shock following the news.
"I’ve been through these situations before, so I know how the family feels. I know how the community feels," Pike said. "I hope (the family) can heal with the community."
The names of the victims and the accused, have not been released. Families of the victims have been notified, RCMP said.
Meanwhile, in what RCMP said was an unrelated incident on a busy night, the detachment also responded to reports of multiple stabbings at a house party in the RM about 15 minutes before the crash was called in.
Three teenage boys, one 16-year-old and two 17-year-olds, were stabbed at a house party on Highland Drive. They were taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
RCMP have not reported any arrests for the stabbings.
— with files from Andrew Ryan
Ryan Thorpe likes the pace of daily news, the feeling of a broadsheet in his hands and the stress of never-ending deadlines hanging over his head.
Updated on Saturday, August 11, 2018 at 10:50 AM CDT: Adds map
10:51 AM: Adds map
11:30 AM: Updates photo
12:52 PM: Adds new photo
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2:19 PM: Adds files credit
3:47 PM: Minor fixes
10:32 PM: Edited