RCMP release new images of vehicles with possible connection to fatal hit-and-run near Duncan

RCMP release new images of vehicles with possible connection to fatal hit-and-run near Duncan

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP has released new surveillance images showing vehicles that may be connected to a fatal hit-and-run in April.

Family members identified the victim as 17-year-old Leeann Joe, following the April 18 hit-and-run that happened around 9:50 p.m. on the Trans-Canada Highway between Green Road and Beverly Street north of Duncan.

Joe was a pedestrian.

When police arrived on scene, no driver or vehicle was present. The BC Coroners Service was also on the scene, and the road was closed for several hours.

The four images RCMP released Tuesday show different vehicles, including what appears to be a car, an SUV, a truck and another truck towing a vehicle on a flatbed trailer.

The images were captured on April 23.

The surveillance footage from Arbutus Ridge Golf Course shows the vehicles travelling in the area of Hutchinson Road, approximately 20 km from where the hit-and-run happened. CHEK News reached out to RCMP asking why these vehicles are of interest, considering the distance from the crash scene, and a spokesperson said investigators believe the vehicles have a possible connection to what happened.

“Police have identified vehicles believed to be connected to the fatal collision and look to public in an effort to identify the owners and or the drivers,” according to North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP in a news release Tuesday.

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Also on April 23, Joe’s family held a memorial for the teen and said they hoped who hit her would come forward.

“It’s inhumane this happened to her,” said Joe’s aunt, Monica Joe. The victim’s mother, Christine James, added that she’d miss “everything” about her daughter.

The family thinks Joe may have been walking from a nearby mall when she was struck.

READ PREVIOUS: Family identifies Cowichan hit & run victim as 17-year-old girl

The stretch of the highway has a speed limit of 80 km/h. It also has a concrete centre median, and locals told CHEK News they often see people crossing the road where there’s no crosswalk.

“Quite often, yeah,” said Chaya Napier, a frequent driver.

“I commute back and forth to VIU in Nanaimo, so I come home late at night from class, so I do see homeless people crossing the highway quite often.”

In a previous update, RCMP said they located a suspect vehicle and had it undergo a forensic examination. That was after investigators were seeking a grey 2011-2013 Hyundai Elantra, likely with front-end damage.

Mounties noted they were “continuing to work tirelessly to advance the investigation.”

Anyone with information about the vehicles shown in the new surveillance images is asked to call North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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