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Port Alberni teenager struck in hit-and-run on rural road

ADSS student appeals to driver of SUV to turn herself in

A teenager was struck by a car near Port Alberni last week in a hit-and-run that was captured on a home security camera. Now both the teenager and her father are hoping the driver of the car will turn herself in.

Danika Currie, a Grade 10 student at Alberni District Secondary School (ADSS), was struck by a vehicle while she was walking home from the bus stop at the intersection of Beaver Creek Road and Smith Road on Wednesday, Feb. 21.

After getting off the school bus at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Danika stopped to check the mail at the mailbox on Smith Road, then got ready to cross the street to her home on Beaver Creek Road. At that moment, a grey SUV was approaching the stop sign on Smith Road and preparing to turn right. Danika made eye contact with the driver and received a nod, which she interpreted to mean she was safe to cross the street.

“I made it two or three feet across the road, then she started to drive and she hit me,” recalled Danika.

Danika was left stunned, lying on the road, while the driver of the vehicle quickly reversed, turned left and drove in the opposite direction down Beaver Creek Road.

Another woman in a truck witnessed the SUV fleeing the scene and stopped to help Danika get up and get back to her house safely.

When Danika’s father, Sean, got home on Wednesday he discovered that his security camera had captured footage of the crash and he reached out to the Port Alberni RCMP, who encouraged him to share the video on social media. Sean says he has been “overwhelmed” by the support he has received from the community so far, with many neighbours reaching out to share their own security footage with the RCMP.

“[The RCMP] do know what kind of car it is and have more of a timeline now,” said Sean. “They’ve been absolutely amazing throughout all of this.”

It’s not the first close call that Sean has witnessed on the busy road, where drivers often travel much faster than the 60 km/h speed limit. Sean has seen plenty of deer struck and killed in front of his home, not to mention a neighbour’s dog.

“People just rocket through here,” he said.

In fact, Sean says cars were still flying past Danika in both directions while she was being helped off the road by the Good Samaritan. He says he has always taught his children, including Danika, to watch for cars before they cross the road, even if it takes an extra 10 minutes to get home.

“She did everything right,” said Sean.

Danika was left with only minor injuries from the incident—a sprained ankle and some bruising—and was even cleared to attend the B.C. wrestling provincials with her team over the weekend. But both father and daughter are hoping the driver of the SUV will do the right thing and come forward before she is caught by RCMP.

“We just want her to turn herself in,” said Sean. “If it was an accident, it was an accident. Why compound it by running? To just run makes no sense to me.”

Port Alberni RCMP say they are “confident” that the driver will be identified, but would also prefer that the driver turn herself in. The suspect vehicle has been identified as a newer model dark grey Hyundai Tucson, and the suspect driver is a Caucasian woman with light brown hair. Police say there was also a child in the passenger seat.

Anyone with information about the crash can contact the Port Alberni RCMP at 250-723-2424 and reference the file #24-1591.

READ MORE: 90-year-old woman killed in Nanaimo hit-and-run

Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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