Fatal hit and run at King and Hickory

(Photo by Nick Lachance).

An elderly woman was killed at the intersection of King and Hickory Streets Tuesday morning after being struck by a cube van while crossing the street.

According to Waterloo Regional Police staff sergeant Scott Richardson, the van was turning left from Hickory on to King when it hit the woman, who was crossing westbound within in the crosswalk, towards Neighbours Market. Richardson said at this point it is unclear whether either the driver or the victim was not following traffic lights.

The woman, who police identified later in the evening as 82-year-old Waterloo resident Ruth Hamilton, was pronounced dead on the scene shortly before 10 a.m..

After colliding with the woman, the driver of the cube van attempted to flee the scene, continuing up King Street, before being caught by police and arrested in Uptown Waterloo, near Central Street. Richardson was unable to give a description of the driver of the van.

“Right now we have to interview the driver and find out the circumstances exactly and charges will be determined based on our investigation,” said Richardson.

According to Richardson, several eyewitnesses gave reports to officers on the scene, including one witness that reportedly followed the van up King Street and notified police.

“We actually have plenty of witnesses, great witnesses,” said Richardson. “Of course it’s a very busy intersection with pedestrian and vehicle traffic so we’re very fortunate in that aspect. Many people stayed, many people were able to offer assistance.”

Richardson added that a construction crew from one of the nearby sites helped divert traffic until police arrived on scene.

King Street was closed for most of the day between University Avenue and Hickory Street while police conducted their investigation. The street re-opened shortly before 5 p.m.

Traudie Kauntz, the owner of Household China, located at the corner of King and Hickory, has been complaining about the traffic situation for years.

“It’s a dangerous corner, we’ve had a number of accidents here,” she said. “I grew up in the neighbourhood and it just keeps getting worse and worse… I have had many meetings with the city about parking and problems and it’s really difficult to get anyone’s attention.

“It’s always when something horrible happens that people ask ‘what should we do?’ But we’ve been complaining about this for many, many years.”

Kauntz has seen many accidents in front of her store since taking over the family business in 2006, including an instance where a vehicle crashed into the pillars right outside the building’s front door. However, accident Tuesday morning was still a shock.

“We all just want to say a prayer,” said Kauntz. “It’s so sad.”

Thursday evening sees two more accidents

Two cars sustained minor front-end damage in an accident on University Avenue near Weber Street. (Photo by Nick Lachance).

Later in the day Thursday, there two other, minor accidents in the same area as the fatal hit and run. Just before 5 p.m., two cars collided on University Avenue when one vehicle was attempting to pull out of the plaza driveway by the Crabby Joe’s near the intersection of University and Weber Street. Around that same time, traffic was slowed on Weber Street, just north of University when an SUV pulling out of the TD Bank parking lot on to Weber collided with a car in the centre lane.

There were no injuries in either of these crashes.

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