Family of killed teen urges driver to come forward

The victim, 17-year-old Leeann Joe, would have turned 18 next month.

The grieving family of a youth killed last week in a collision while walking along the highway just north of Duncan have called on the driver to turn himself in.

The victim, 17-year-old Leeann Joe, would have turned 18 next month, her aunt Monica Joe said.

“She was walking on the side of the road, but we weren’t sure where she was going,” she said. “We weren’t notified until the next day because they weren’t sure who it was.”

Her family said it’s possible the teen had just left a nearby shopping area when she was struck on the Trans-Canada Highway between Sherman and Green Roads on April 18 around 9:50 p.m.

Emergency services found the teenager dead at the scene.

She comes from a large family, her aunt says, with six sisters and three brothers.

Her family is still dealing with the disappearance nine years ago of Leeann’s older brother, Ian Henry.

Cowichan Tribal Chief Cindy Daniels issued a statement expressing her “deepest condolences to the Joe family on this tragic loss of a beloved member of their family.”

“Our youth are our future, and they deserve every opportunity to realize their dreams,” said Daniels. “Cowichan Tribes is here to support the victim’s family and friends as they mourn the loss of this young woman who had her whole life ahead of her.

“I join the family and the RCMP in appealing to the driver and anyone with information to come forward.”

Daniels said Leeann’s death highlights the challenges pedestrians face in the area. “There is still a lot of work to be done to ensure safer pedestrian options.”

Police said Monday they are looking for a gray Hyundai Elantra, model 2011-2013, believed to have significant damage to the front driver’s side as a result of the fatal crash.

Anyone with information about the crash is asked to call North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP at 250-748-5522.

Police are also looking for dashcam footage of people driving in the area on April 18 from 9pm to 9.45pm.

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