PORT HARDY—On the last day of her life, Carol Humchitt was happy, with plans to move back to Bella Bella to spend the rest of her days with her new granddaughter.
But that was not to be; just after 7 p.m. Tuesday, the 49-year-old was struck by a van as she was crossing the road at Park Drive and Highland Drive.
She succumbed to her injuries a few hours later at Port Hardy Hospital.
While police continue to investigate the possible connection of a power failure — that blacked out street lights in the area — in the death, friends and family gathered Friday afternoon near a green, spray-painted square outline on the road, where Humchitt was struck by a 2004 Mazda van, driven by 62-year-old Arnet Hales, of Port Hardy.
Hales was among the approximately 50 people who showed at Friday’s vigil, where people sang, laughed at memories of Carol, prayed and wept.
“I thought it was important that I was here,” said Hales.
Soon after Humchitt was struck, paramedics were on scene and raced the injured woman to Port Hardy Hospital.
“When I got to the hospital at 7:30 p.m., the doctors were working on Carol and she was asking what was going on,” recalled Humchitt’s cousin, Harriet Willie.
“She had internal bleeding, and then just after 10 p.m., doctors said she had passed away.”
Carol was preparing to go back to Bella Bella March 24 to spend the rest of her life with her only daughter and first grandchild, said Willie. “She wanted to watch her granddaughter grow.”
The family said they’re not sure where Carol, who’d called Port Hardy home for the past six years, was heading when she was struck at the intersection, but they’re not blaming anyone for the tragedy.
“The lights went out and this was a very bad accident and Carol’s family forgives the driver,” said Willie.
“I really thank Arnet for showing up and sharing his hurt too,” she said.
“We understand this was a very bad, very tragic accident.”
The RCMP preliminary information indicates at the time of the collision, a power failure in the area knocked out the street lights.
That’s being examined as a possible contributing factor, along with the visibility of the pedestrian, and her proximity to a marked crosswalk at the time of the collision.
A collision analyst and re-constructionist with the Island District Traffic Services continues to investigate however, police said vehicle speed and driver impairment do not appear to be contributing factors.
Meanwhile, Humchitt’s family remembered her as someone who’d “help anyone and everyone.
“She had a really warm heart and a smile for everyone,” said Willie.
“We see how many lives Carol touched,” she said, looking at the people who had assembled to pay homage to Humchitt.
A service for Humchitt was held in Bella Bella Monday.