Victim of fatal northeast hit-and-run identified as Mauritian man who had been walking to work
CTV Calgary Staff
Published Monday, April 22, 2019 10:58PM MDT
Last Updated Friday, April 26, 2019 5:18PM MDT
The Calgary Mauritian community is mourning the loss of a 38-year-old man who was struck by a vehicle while attempting to cross 32 Avenue N.E. on Monday.
A 19-year-old man police believe was driving a newer model Acura TL turned himself in to Chestermere RCMP about midnight, hours after the fatal hit-and-run crash at 32nd Avenue and 26th Street N.E. Police appealed for the driver of a white Toyota Tacoma to also turn himself in, which he did before noon Tuesday.
Police say the Acura and Tacoma were eastbound on 32nd Avenue at a high rate of speed about 9:30 p.m. Monday when the pedestrian was hit. The light was red for the vehicles and the 38-year-old was crossing 32nd Avenue at 26th Street N.E. The Acura hit the man and both vehicles fled the scene. Police recovered the Acura a few blocks from the scene.
"We've established that he was within the confines of the crossing," said Sgt. Colin Foster of the Calgary Police Service traffic unit. "For him to be at that particular location when he was struck, he would have had the benefit of a walk signal."
Officers arrived to find bystanders performing CPR on the 38-year-old, who was rushed to the Peter Lougheed Centre where he later died. Members of the Calgary Mauritian Community Association have identified the victim as Chundun Rai 'Kunal' Keedhoo and say he had been walking to work at the time of the collision.
“Kunal has been in Canada for the last five years," explained Ravi Purmanan, president of the Calgary Mauritian Community Association. "He comes from a small town in Mauritius. Just like all of us, I think we want to move to Canada for a better life and that was his goal. He was helping his family back home as well.”
A fundraising effort is underway to help cover the cost of returning Keedhoo's remains to his native Mauritius.
“Even though we move halfway across the world, we’re still very close to Mauritius, and it’s important for the family to have closure as well," said Purmanan. “My heart goes to the family of the deceased of course but also to those two young people who made a mistake and now they have to regret it, I guess, for the rest of their life."
In a statement issued Tuesday evening, Husky Energy confirmed the 38-year-old was an employee at the Husky gas station located a short distance from the crash site . "We are greatly saddened by this tragic event and our thoughts are with his family and colleagues. We are providing support to his family and co-workers in whatever way they may need."
Police say the 19-year-old is being cooperative and they believe the two drivers knew each other.
Charges are pending against the 19-year-old, said Foster, which could include hit-and-run causing death, dangerous driving causing death and street racing causing death.
A section of 32nd Avenue was closed to traffic between Barlow Trail and 27th Street following the fatal collision. It was re-opened just before 7 a.m. Tuesday. Police are also reviewing CCTV footage from surrounding businesses along with traffic cameras in the area.
Anyone with information is asked at call police at 403-266-1234 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.