Fatal hit-and-run in Canmore sparks renewed calls for pedestrian overpass

The hit-and-run death of a 20-year-old woman on the Trans-Canada highway on Sunday has sparked renewed calls for a pedestrian overpass in that area.

Jessie Loucks brought forward a petition to Canmore town council in 2018 with signatures from citizens asking for the infrastructure. 

She says politicians at all levels of government have shifted responsibility for building one. 

“Nobody wants to put their name on a big price tag that they think is not necessarily going to generate revenue, which is extremely frustrating,” said Loucks. 

“Because it’s not about revenue, it’s about protecting the people that live here.”

Loucks, who lived along Palliser Trail, says she used to cross the highway when coming home from work. 

“At three in the morning after working a shift down at the bars, I would walk home and play Frogger with the cars,” she said. 

When Loucks began the petition, she wanted to present council with a list of concerned citizens demanding something be done about the problem. 

She estimates that roughly 80 people cross the highway daily. 

“What I warned them about in 2018, that was my opening line: ‘are we going to wait until someone dies,’” she said. “And now someone has.”

On Monday, friends of the victim, who hasn’t yet been identified, were seen laying flowers near the spot where her body was found.

Mayor Sean Krausert declined requests for an interview, instead issuing a statement. 

“Our condolences go out to the family and friends of the woman,” said Krausert. 

“Unfortunately, we will not be able to comment any further until we find out the circumstances surrounding this tragic event.” 

Coun. Wade Graham, who campaigned on pedestrian safety in the area during the last election, also declined an interview, saying that “more information is needed” about the woman’s death. 

RCMP said Sunday it was a passerby that notified them about a body on the road. 

RCMP closed the highway down for several hours, redirecting traffic off of Highway 1 east.

Investigators are trying to determine why the woman was in the area behind the Visitor Information Centre and who is responsible for her death. 

If you have any information on the incident you’re asked to call the Canmore RCMP detachment at 403-678-5516 or to contact Crime Stoppers anonymously.

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