Calgarians remind drivers to slow down following several crashes involving pedestrians and cyclists

CALGARY — Dan Anderson, 40, along with his fiancée Serena Ejtehadian, 36, were run over by an erratic driver Saturday night near the community of Aspen.

When emergency crews arrived at the scene, they pronounced the couple dead at the scene.

The horror of the incident has shaken those who were close to pair, including Anderson’s long-time friend Jay Turner.

“Every day gets better, every minute gets better,” said Turner, who spoke with CTV News near Midnapore Lake.

He says they met when they were 13 and grew up playing hockey together on the lake.

But Turner says the one memory that stands out the most is a road trip the two of them took from Calgary to Vancouver Island, with a pit stop in Shuswap.

“I’ll just never forget the warmth,” said Turner. “I can feel his arm on my shoulder and that’s something I’ll take to the bitter end.”

Turner says it’s a moment they were able to capture in a photo.

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Ejtehadian and Anderson were engaged for a year and a half and had planned to marry this year, before COVID-19 struck.

“She was the light in his eye and it brought him out of his shell more,” said Turner. “(She) made him more confident and just made him an even more beautiful man.”

The 52-year-old man who was behind the wheel remains in hospital in critical, life threatening condition.

Several hours after Anderson and Ejtehadian were killed, another man and woman, both in their 30s, were struck in a crosswalk along 37 Street and 13 Avenue in the southwest.

That driver fled the scene.

Both were transported to hospital in critical condition.

Police are still looking for the driver of what is believed to be a dark-coloured sedan

Early Tuesday afternoon, Calgary Police Service were called to a report of a cyclist being struck by an SUV at 80 Avenue about 2:15 p.m. and merged onto southbound Saddletowne Circle N.E.

That driver also took off, leaving the victim behind.

Police describe the vehicle as a white SUV, possibly a Toyota RAV4, with a a male driver.

64-year-old Alberto Vallejo was in that crosswalk, suffering a broken left leg and several injuries including to his head.

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His family say it’s been a difficult year, they were in disbelief when they received the call from first responders.

“COVID has made things worse for a lot of lives and we cannot let something like this that (affect us and) can be easily fixed,” said James Vallejo, Alberto’s son.

James says his father has undergone surgery at Foothills Hospital, and is alert and speaking.

James has a message for motorists this holiday season after seeing several collisions involving pedestrians or cyclists.

“As drivers we need to slow down, we need to pay attention, and we need to consider other people,” he said.

Alberto’s wife also distraught from the news, is hoping the driver turns himself in.

“So why did that driver just struck him and then just run away,” said Terresita Vallejo.

Police say they are still seeking to find those responsible.

“We will do them to the best of our ability and rest assured, we will find the drivers of those hit and run vehicles,” said Sgt. Colin Foster.

Foster also believes that people should not fear crossing road, despite the number of crashes.

“There’s always going to be that concern, especially when we have a number of crashes at the same time,” he said.

“Open season on pedestrians, it’s not.”

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