OTTAWA — After three separate hit-and-run accidents left three different people dead within 90 minutes of Ottawa overnight Thursday, two people have been arrested and charged with impaired driving — with one appearring in court Satuday — while police hunt for the third.
In Ottawa, a 40-year-old woman made an brief court appearance Saturday morning. She was in court after a teen riding a bicycle was struck and killed by a vehicle Thursday.
Samira Mohamed Daoud will next appear by video on Sept. 17.
Daoud was dressed in a blue top, had her hair in a bun, and appeared tired. Previous to Saturday’s court appearance, Daoud had already lost her licence for impaired driving.
The charges against Samira Mohamed Daoud include criminal negligence causing death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, drunk driving and possession of a stolen vehicle.
Also struck and killed Thursday evening was a 63-year-old woman who was walking along a roadway near Gracefield, Que., and a man riding a scooter near Brockville.
Police arrested a man in the Quebec incident near his home in Lac-Cayamant Thursday evening. Neighbours said the suspect, Henri Jetté, 52, is known for his drinking habits.
In the hit-and-run on south Bank Street, 16-year-old Alex Hayes was hit as he rode his bicycle home from a shift at MacKinnon’s Foodland in Greely. Police got a call from family members late Thursday reporting Hayes missing.
Officers found Hayes’ bike on the side of the road in the 5700 block of Bank Street at 12:10 a.m. Friday. His dead body was found nearby.
Police have not said whether Hayes was wearing a helmet or whether his bike was equipped with lights and reflectors.
Earlier Thursday evening, not far from the Foodland grocery store, Christa Charron says a woman erratically driving a truck with Alberta licence plates forced her to move into another lane.
The woman was driving north on Bank Street toward Mitch Owens Road. Charron tried to follow the speeding truck, but couldn’t keep up.
Cars pulled to the side of the road to avoid being hit by the erratic driver, she said.
Charron later spotted the woman again on Leitrim Road, where she turned south into the northbound lane on Bank Street.
When the driver was arrested, Charron says she saw a half empty two-litre bottle of wine between the two front seats.
Charron said she also noticed that one of the headlights of the truck, which was working when she first saw the vehicle in her rear view mirror, was burned out and the side of the truck was damaged.
“It just seemed so obvious. I put two and two together,” Charron said. “I wish I could have stopped it. I tried. I wanted to stop her from killing someone because she was driving so fast.”
Charron was still visibly upset on Friday afternoon as she recounted the events that unfolded the night before.
“This drinking and driving happens so easy,” she said, holding back tears. “People shouldn’t do it. It’s terrible, you know? It’s not right.”
Several employees at the grocery store were distraught on Friday after learning that Hayes had been killed. Some called in sick because they were too upset to work.
“I was in shock this morning when I heard it was him,” said Blair MacKinnon, the grocery store’s owner. “I couldn’t believe it actually.”
MacKinnon said Hayes was familiar with the route he took home, almost always riding his bike to and from work. His mother, a part-time employee at the LCBO attached to the grocery store, drove him to work when it rained or snowed.
Carrie Longlade, the grocery store’s night shift supervisor, received a call from Hayes’ father looking for his son several hours after he was scheduled to finish work Thursday night.
Longlade said Hayes had left around 9 p.m., just as she arrived at work. “He said, ‘I guess I have some more phone calls to make,’” Longlade said. “(He was) concerned, worried.”
MacKinnon said the young man worked stocking shelves and helping customers.
Hayes was described as a reliable worker, took shifts from people who wanted time off and often agreed to come in when he wasn’t scheduled to work.
A photo of Hayes from a recent family trip to Cuba with the words “Please support MADD” written underneath was posted on the front door of the grocery store Friday.
The scene at the Ottawa Technical Learning Centre, where Hayes was a student, was just as sombre.
On Friday, students came out of the school at lunch time in tears. Several consoled each other as they smoked cigarettes on the sidewalk in front of the school.
One student said Hayes had a girlfriend who came to school Friday morning. She wasn’t able to make it through the day and went home.
A family member told the Citizen that Hayes always had a smile on his face no matter how difficult his life became.
“I will tell you that I will miss him a lot,” the family member said. “He was a great kid. He was always willing to help. And was a very hard worker, too.”
The family member said Hayes was very helpful. He did gardening and installed patio stones when he could have been hanging out with friends.
The woman’s eldest daughter has been hit hard by the news of her cousin’s death.
The daughter often hung out with her cousin and will fondly remember a trip they took together to the Maritimes and their grandfather’s cottage.
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