WATCH: Friends remember 51-year-old Kim Ward who was killed while walking her dog Monday evening in Central Saanich. April Lawrence reports.
A colourful roadside memorial for 51-year-old Kim Ward continued to grow Friday, a symbol of the immense grief so many are feeling over the loss of someone described as a “kind heart” and “beautiful spirit”.
“It’s an empty feeling for all of us it’s such a pointless needless event that’s happened it’s tragic it’s hard to know how to deal with it because you can’t really prepare for something like this,” said friend and former colleague Dr. Steve Keeler.
Ward and her sister Tracy were walking their dogs near their mother’s home on Central Saanich Road Monday evening when they were struck from behind by an SUV that crossed the centre line.
Ward was pronounced dead at the scene. Her dog Finley was also killed. Her sister remains in critical condition.
Ward spent much of her career as a massage therapist working with high-level athletes. She attended both the Olympics in Beijing and London with Triathlon Canada who released a statement saying in part, “Kim was a true professional, a great teammate and a very dear friend! Kim, you will be missed by all of us! RIP.”
Dr. Steve Keeler, Triathlon Canada’s team doctor, worked with Kim for years. He last saw her at a pub a few months ago.
“She seemed happy, she seemed really satisfied professionally, her sister was moving out to be with her and her mom and they had some plans to change things up a little bit and move to Sidney, I understand,” he said.
Investigators are still trying to determine exactly what happened Monday evening. They say they are looking at the mechanics of the SUV as well “human factors” including distracted driving and the sobriety of the 26-year-old driver.
Investigators have spoken to dozens of witnesses but are still looking for more. They say the vehicle involved is a 2019 red Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Police said it was also involved in a minor rear-end crash near Mountain Newton X Road and Lochside Drive about 20 minutes before the crash that killed Ward.
“We are absolutely interested in anybody who may have seen that vehicle driving in any way that caught their attention,” said Central Saanich Police Chief Les Sylven.
“If anyone has any evidence or they saw anything that they thought might be of interest to us about the vehicle we’d certainly like to hear that,” he said.
If you have information about this incident please call Detective Chad Vincent at 250-652-4441-ext.3063, or make an anonymous call to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).