'It's heart-wrenching': Hit-and-run victim's grieving sister speaks out
The sister of a man killed in a hit-and-run in East Vancouver this week says she can't stop thinking about how things might have turned out if the driver had just stopped to help.
A passerby found 39-year-old Donnell Auger seriously injured on Kingsway near Glen Drive just before 3 a.m. on Thursday. The victim died shortly after being rushed to hospital for treatment.
"It's heart-wrenching to know that he could have maybe survived," Auger's sister, Suzette Amaya, told CTV News Friday. "You left my brother there alone and didn't take responsibility and that's really hard for our family right now."
Just hours after police put out a statement appealing to the public for help in locating the driver and vehicle involved, Sgt. Jason Robillard confirmed police had identified a suspect, but said they wouldn't be deciding on charges until a full investigation had been completed.
"The 54-year-old driver in this case eventually did the right thing by coming forward," Robillard said. "He has been released pending further investigation."
It's unclear how long Auger had been left at the scene before he was discovered, a fact that is making these already difficult days even harder for his grieving family.
"Our family is in a lot of shock right now," Amaya said. "This all happened so suddenly. We just celebrated Christmas together as a family."
Auger leaves behind three children and a community of people Amaya said he considered his family.
"My brother was the kind of person that anybody who becomes his friend becomes his family, so there's a lot of people mourning right now," she said. "It's just such a tragedy, and we're just having a hard time coping."
Auger is being remembered as a funny, loving person who was dedicated to his job as a landscaper.
"It was his passion and he loved talking about it and he loved his children," his sister said. "He was a family man."
And this isn't the first time this type of tragedy has struck the family.
Auger and Amaya lost their father after he was hit by a bus on Hastings Street in the 1980s.
The victim's family and friends gathered for a candlelight vigil at the spot where he was killed Friday night.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Emad Agahi