Hit and run claims life of woman

Last Tuesday, Sept. 4, a tragic hit-and-run accident at the corner of King and Hickory resulted in the death of 82-year-old local resident Ruth Hamilton.

The driver, Dale Eastman, 55, of Wilmot Township attempted to flee the scene but was shortly apprehended due to efforts from both police and bystanders.

In addition to the fatal hit and run last Tuesday morning, several other accidents have occurred in the cityover the past week. In one incident, a student was hospitalized after being hit by a bus at the University of Waterloo.

Concerns have been raised over the safety of both pedestrians and motorists in the area.

Traudie Kauntz, manager of Household China and Gifts on the northeast corner of the intersection expressed concern not only for people’s safety, but for the effect the hazardous intersection has on businesses in the area.

“I grew up here, at 308 King. It has got worse, and worse, and worse and I don’t see anything being done about it,” she said. “It’s a way bigger picture than just this poor lady being killed.”

Kauntz believes that a lot of it is a parking issue. “I personally believe there should be no parking on Hickory between Regina and King.” she stated.

Olaf Heinzel of the Waterloo Regional Police expressed regret over the accident.

“Its a tragic incident. Someone has died in the community,” he commented.

Heinzel went on to say that, “With the return to school there has been a ramp up with the amount of traffic. Whether a pedestrian or motorist, we need to be vigilant about what is going on around us.”

Some measures had been taken by the City of Waterloo in order to ease congestion during the student move-in period. On August 28th, the city released information on what would be their temporary strategy during this time:

“Most students will be moving in the Labour Day long weekend. Our goal, during this busy time, is to keep vehicles moving by easing congestion in the affected areas,” said Jim Barry, the city’s director of bylaw enforcement, in a media release.Roads were closed to redirect traffic flow and officers were dispatched to patrol affected areas.

The funeral service for Mrs. Hamilton was held this past Monday at Woodside Bible Fellowship in Elmira.

Eastman has been charged with failure to remain at the scene of the accident as well as dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

He is scheduled to appear in court Oct. 2.

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