The family of a 25-year-old Indigenous woman critically injured in a hit-and-run Thanksgiving weekend is asking the public for help in identifying the driver responsible.
Tasha Movescamp-McLean is Nehiyaw from Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. In the early morning hours of Saturday, Oct. 9, she was struck by a vehicle on Highway 43, just outside the town of Valleyview, Alta., a town about 300 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.
“My family’s been going through so much hurt and sadness that this has happened to Tasha,” Tracey McLean, the victim’s mother, told CBC News.
Movescamp-McLean was severely injured from the hit-and-run and was airlifted to a hospital in Edmonton in critical condition. She is still in hospital, her condition fluctuating between critical and very serious, said Alberta RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Deanna Fontaine.
McLean visited her daughter daily. Among her numerous injuries, she suffered bruising to her brain, a broken elbow, cuts to her body and nerve damage to her right eye, McLean said.
“I pray every day, I pray hard and I believe that our prayers are helping her to recover, ” she said. “She’s still with us and I’m so grateful and thankful. She could have been part of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.”
RCMP have received no tips
Valleyview RCMP are still investigating the hit-and-run, but police are pleading to the public for help.
Police haven’t received any tips so far and haven’t identified a suspect vehicle, Fontaine said.
“We haven’t given up,” she said.
“This is a tragedy, and it’s terrible that someone is suffering in hospital as a result of a hit-and-run such as this.”
Police believe the collision occurred sometime between 5 a.m. and 7:30 a.m. when the woman was found in a ditch by a passerby.
RCMP is looking for anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or a woman walking on Highway 43 near Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation, located just over 10 kilometres west of Valleyview.
Anyone with information — even the smallest detail — from that morning is asked to contact the Valleyview RCMP or their local police force, Fontaine said.
“It might make all the difference in this case,” she said.
McLean appealed to the driver directly.
“I want that person to be able to come forward and to acknowledge what has happened and how,” she said. “This person has affected me and my family’s lives, and especially Tasha’s life. No one should have to go through this.
“I just want her to be happy, to live a healthy life and that she can move on from this. Justice is a big part of that.”
McLean is also hoping to reach out to the passerby who discovered her daughter after she was hit that morning.
“I really want to talk to the individual who helped her and saved her life,” she said.
Anyone with information can contact Valleyview RCMP at 780-524-3345. People can also submit information anonymously to Crime Stoppers online, or by calling 1-800-222-8477.