A South Surrey woman is in hospital with critical, life-altering injuries after she and her dog were struck by an SUV as they walked in the 3400-block of King George Boulevard Monday night.
Impact of the silver Mercedes threw the 66-year-old pedestrian into nearby bushes; her dog, a female German shepherd, did not survive.
Passersby told police the northbound SUV – with six teenagers inside – hit the pair after slamming into the back of an illegally parked car during an attempt to pass another vehicle on the shoulder, just after 10 p.m.
Witness Jazz Mattu said he was about 300 metres behind the Mercedes when he saw the SUV go off the road. He estimated it was travelling at 100 to 130 kilometres per hour when it passed him seconds before.
“The car slightly swerved, you see that it lost total control,” he said. “It plowed into that (parked) car, took down the lamp post and there was a big dust ball from the grit that was on the side of the road.
“I had a gut feeling that it was extremely bad from the speed at which they were doing.”
The parked car, which was not occupied, was sent into a utility pole.
Mattu said it wasn’t until a few minutes after he pulled over and spoke with the Mercedes occupants that he learned someone had been hit.
The victim, identified as Jocelyn Hallier, was airlifted from the scene.
Al Nemeth, owner of Holy Smoke Coffee, told Peace Arch News that Hallier was one of his longtime employees.
Nemeth said he told a sedated Hallier – during a bedside visit at Royal Columbian Hospital Tuesday afternoon – that her friends and neighbours are pulling for her.
“I just kind of told her we all loved her, and a tear came out of her eye. I have a feeling she heard me,” he said. “We’re all rooting for her, all saying a prayer one way or another.”
Nemeth said the horrific crash highlights the need for traffic calming along the busy thoroughfare.
“For years, I’ve been complaining that traffic moves too fast down there. I’ve seen all kinds of accidents… a lot of close calls,” he said. “The customers tell me they’re risking their lives every time they slow down to turn in.
“I’ve complained to the police. I’ve got nothing on file but anytime somebody from the city comes in for a coffee, I tell them all about it.”
Police say the driver, a 17-year-old girl who suffered minor injuries, was detained at the scene in connection with the crash.
Investigation is ongoing by Surrey RCMP’s Criminal Collision Investigation Team and the Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service to determine the driver’s actions prior to the crash, and other contributing factors.
Anyone with information who has not already spoken to police is asked to call 604-599-0502. To remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.