UPDATE: Elderly driver hit Lake Country pedestrian on Highway 97 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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UPDATE: Elderly driver hit Lake Country pedestrian on Highway 97


An elderly driver struck a 29-year-old Kelowna woman who was walking on Highway 97 last week, and the RCMP is looking to the community to find out exactly what happened.

Lake Country RCMP responded Feb. 18 just after 9 p.m., to a report of an injured woman on Highway 97 right across from Voyager RV in Lake Country. 

"Early investigation by police has determined that a 1999 brown Acura car had been travelling northbound on Highway 97 when the vehicle struck the woman who was walking," reads press release sent out by Cpl. Jocelyn Noseworthy today, Feb. 22.

"The car continued on without stopping and its elderly driver soon after alerted family of his outstanding concern for possibly having struck something on the highway.  A family member promptly attended the vicinity, located the injured pedestrian and immediately called 911," the press release continues.

RCMP say the driver has co-operated fully with the investigation and the vehicle has been seized for examination. No charges have been laid at this time, but this investigation is ongoing.

In the meantime, friends have identified the pedestrian as Ashley Paxman through a GoFundMe account and they're looking to raise money to help the woman overcome what appears to be significant harm.

"For those of you (who) know her, know that Ashley and her family have suffered more than their fair share of losses and tragedy. Losing her dad suddenly almost three years ago, her uncle prior to that to cancer, her mom had a stroke after the passing of her dad, and her aunt passing this past summer. Needless to say, the (Paxmans) have been through a lot, no one could have imagined tragedy would strike again so soon," reads the post to the fundraising website.

The GoFundMe said that Ashley was less than ten minutes from home when she was hit and thrown into a ditch.

Ashley Paxman was injured Feb. 18, 2021 in a hit and run on Highway 97 in Lake Country.
Ashley Paxman was injured Feb. 18, 2021 in a hit and run on Highway 97 in Lake Country.
Image Credit: GOFUNDME

"She had been hit so hard the impact knocked her out of her shoes," the account reads.

"Now Ashley lay unresponsive on life support in the ICU. After spending the day in surgery, doctors are hopeful for recovery, although it will be a long painful road, with more surgeries ahead. There is still uncertainty as to whether her eye can be saved and regain normal function. Ashley’s brain continues to bleed, threatening long term damage, the bones in her entire face were shattered and she will have lasting nerve damage. The doctors have been able to reconstruct her fingers and repair her tongue; her jaw will be wired shut in the near future as she awaits a second surgery to repair the extensive damage."

They said there is not a lot of hope that financial aid will come through and the GoFundMe was created to help with her recovery.

Anyone with information, including relevant dash camera footage, is asked to call the Lake Country RCMP at 250-766-2288, or anonymously using the provincial Crime Stoppers agency at 1-800-222-TIPS quoting Lake Country RCMP file number 2021-9234.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Kathy Michaels or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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