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Witness saw man 'fly into the air,' land in path of oncoming traffic

cbc.ca logo cbc.ca 2018-11-19 Marianne Klowak

Kendra Inglis keeps waking up with the same horrific image in her head: a man crossing the street near Winnipeg's McDermot Avenue and Sherbrook Street gets hit by a van — and goes flying through the air.

It happened Friday night just after 8 p.m. The man was taken to hospital, where he later died. 

Inglis watched the fatal accident in her rearview mirror. 

"I watched the driver hit a pedestrian, [who I saw] fly into the air and slam down on the ground. By the time I realized what was happening, I realized the driver who hit him behind me wasn't stopping. So I slammed on my brakes, which in turn made him slam on his brakes ... I was freaking out," said Inglis. 

She said the victim almost got hit by a second car. "The impact was so hard he flew into the other side of the yellow line into oncoming traffic. And they just drove around him and didn't even stop," Inglis recalled. 

Picture of driver's van Inglis handed over to police. © Kendra Inglis Picture of driver's van Inglis handed over to police.

Frantic, Inglis got down on the ground, trying to comfort the victim.

"I got to the victim, I was just letting him know I was there. He wasn't responding at all. I was saying 'I am here. You are not alone. I am going to help you. You are going to be OK.' I kept saying that to him. He was not conscious. He was making gurgling noises. It was absolutely horrible," said Inglis. 

She tucked her business card in the victim's pocket, so his family would know he wasn't alone in his last moments. 

Before she left, she took a picture of the driver's licence. She later gave her pictures to police and provided a video statement. 

Police contacted her on the weekend, saying the victim had been identified. 

"I said can you please tell me who he is? It's the strangest thing. You feel you have some sort of connection with him. I just feel I needed to know who he was," said Inglis.

Police said Friday at about 8:10 p.m. emergency services personnel responded to a report of man who had been hit by a car near the area of McDermot Avenue and Sherbrook Street. © Walther Bernal/CBC Police said Friday at about 8:10 p.m. emergency services personnel responded to a report of man who had been hit by a car near the area of McDermot Avenue and Sherbrook Street.

Citing confidentiality, police couldn't release the family's contact information. She asked officers to pass her name and number along. She sent out dozens of Facebook posts, asking anyone who had lost a family member to contact her. On Sunday, Inglis says she got an online message from the victim's brother.

"He thanked me for being there and doing what I did. The police said the victim was fortunate someone like me was with him when he was taking his last breath," she said, choking up. 

Inglis hopes to meet with the family when they feel up to it.

Police are still investigating. 

Debris left behind after the man was taken to hospital Friday night. © Walther Bernal/CBC Debris left behind after the man was taken to hospital Friday night.
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