*Nearly double amount of pedestrians have died this year compared to last *
The number of pedestrians killed on Winnipeg streets has nearly doubled this year over last, as police ask for help in investigating the latest incident that claimed the life of a 24-year-old woman.
Police and fire paramedic crews raced to the intersection of Portage Avenue and Berry Street at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday, where they found the seriously injured woman lying in the road, the Winnipeg Police Service said Monday.
Police identified the victim as Shannon Joan Marie Romaniuk of Winnipeg.
Just 18 hours earlier, an 81-year-old woman was killed after the vehicle she was in was struck in a hit-and-run at Sargent Avenue and Empress Street.
In 2022 to date, 10 pedestrians have been killed in collisions, compared with a total of six in 2021, WPS data provided to the Free Press show.
The total number of vehicle-collision deaths, including both pedestrians and vehicle occupants — is also up; 20 people have died thus far in 2022, compared to nine last year.
In 2021, two people were charged for failing to remain at the scene of a collision in which a pedestrian was killed. Three have been charged so far this year.
“It’s extremely sad and unfortunate, and it’s happening all hours of the day,” police spokeswoman Const. Dani McKinnon said.
Investigators have determined Romaniuk was crossing Portage Avenue when she was struck. The driver and occupants, if any, fled in the vehicle, which was a silver or grey late-model SUV.
Police have not yet located the SUV or its driver.
Officers completed their investigation and left the scene Monday morning, but spatters of what appeared to be blood remained on the road at the intersection just west of Route 90.
On the south side of Portage Avenue, apartment buildings overlook the eightlane thoroughfare with a 60 kilometre- an-hour speed limit, which has controlled pedestrian crossings on the east and west sides of Berry Street.
The collision was the second fatal hit-and-run in less than 24 hours.
Investigators have identified the 81-year-old woman who died in hospital after a two-vehicle collision at Sargent Avenue and Empress Street as Corazon Manguerra.
Officers rushed to the intersection at 4:30 a.m. after receiving multiple 911 calls.
They found the woman and a 45-year-old man trapped in their SUV, police said Sunday.
Manguerra was in unstable condition and had to be extricated from the wreck. She was rushed to hospital, where she died. The man was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The occupants of the other vehicle, a late-model, dark-coloured Dodge Caravan, ran away from the scene before police arrived.
On Sunday, the wrecked Dodge van sat abandoned along Omand’s Creek on the east side of Empress. A traffic-light was on the ground nearby.
The other vehicle, a Toyota RAV4, was on Empress Street’s west sidewalk, north of the intersection.
Investigators said witnesses reported the Dodge Caravan driving at a high speed before the collision.
They are asking anyone with information about the two collisions, including dash-camera footage, to call the traffic division at 204-986-7085 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 204-786-8477.
“So many people have their own personal dash-cams now,” McKinnon said.
“They can record make, model and licence plate number… the hope really is anyone in this area, from the public, may have seen the collisions or perhaps the manner in which the suspect vehicle was driving — before or after.”
McKinnon confirmed police have not yet made any arrests in either incident.
The two deaths occurred a week after a 78-year-old man died after he was struck on Osborne Street.
Jim Aitkenhead was hit by a vehicle crossing the 50 km/h, four-lane street outside of his retirement home, Fred Tipping Place, a few minutes before 10 p.m. on Oct. 9.
Aitkenhead — who was affectionately called “Jimmy” and “Gentleman Jim,” by friends, neighbours and family — was taken to hospital in unstable condition, and later died.
Officers met with the vehicle’s driver, a woman in her 80s, who remained at the scene, police said at the time. No charges have been announced in the case.
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