‘Please help us to say goodbye,’ hit-and-run victim’s family pleads
Family members of a 72-year-old cyclist killed in a hit-and-run have made an emotional plea to the driver to turn themselves in.
Ed Simpkins, 72, was riding his bike on 13th Avenue near Wright Street in Burnaby Sunday night when he was struck by a vehicle, dying at the scene, RCMP said.
“He was a musician, a poet, he was an artist, an athlete, and a lifelong cyclist,” said Simpkins’ sister, Janet Atkinson-Grossjean. “He was also a dad a granddad, my brother and friend to so many people…we certainly weren't ready to lose him at any time, but especially in this way.”
According to witnesses, the man was struck by a young female driver in a dark, late-model two-door coupe similar to an Acura RSX or Honda Civic.
Witnesses said she looked at the struck cyclist, got back in her car and raced off.
“We do understand that the driver must have panicked,” Atkinson-Grossjean said.
“Speaking for myself, I’m past the anger. I understand what you must have gone through when this happened, and I understand you need to just get away from things…but it’s been a few days now. You must be feeling awful with the guilt. So please, it’s really time to say enough, and come forward.”
Simpkin’s daughter Chelsea said the family was “devastated” by the loss of her father.
“Knowing what happened would help to give our family some closure to this terrible accident,” she told reporters.
Burnaby RCMP Staff-Sgt. Major John Buis said the driver is believed to be female, though that hasn’t been confirmed. “We don’t know how long they were there,” he added.
Investigators are also searching for another driver, caught on surveillance video heading northbound on 13th Avenue, behind the car that hit Simpkins.
“We believe this driver is critically important as a witness to our investigation,” Buis sad.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Burnaby RCMP at 604-294-7922.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson