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Family, RCMP asks for help in investigation into woman's death in hit-and-run

“We are reaching out for help and asking for anyone who may have any information or may have seen anything to please come forward and contact the local detachment of the Canmore RCMP."
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Flowers lay by the side of the Trans-Canada Highway near the Canmore Visitor Information Centre to honour the 20-year-old woman who was hit and killed early Sunday morning. GREG COLGAN RMO PHOTO

CANMORE – The heartbroken family of the young woman tragically killed in a hit-and-run on the Trans-Canada Highway is pleading with anyone with any information to come forward to help the RCMP in their investigation.

Jodi and Mark Blackwood posted a personal message on Facebook asking for help after Ariana Blackwood was struck and killed in the eastbound lane of the highway across from the visitor information centre at around 3:30 a.m. on May 1 – the day of her 20th birthday.

“Ari was a kind, gentle, loving, intelligent friend to all who were lucky enough to know her,” they wrote.

“She always made time for everyone who reached out no matter what they needed. Her beautiful heart and incredible mind made her such an amazing human being.”

Jodi and Mark’s message said the family is “absolutely heart broken and devastated at this tragic loss.”

“Ari helped so many people in her short life, we are hoping someone will be able to help us understand how Ari died,” Jodi and Mark wrote.

“We are reaching out for help and asking for anyone who may have any information or may have seen anything to please come forward and contact the local detachment of the Canmore RCMP."

The number to call at the Canmore RCMP is 403-678-5516.

If people wish to remain anonymous, they can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, online at www.P3Tips.com or using the P3 Tips app on the Google Play store or Apple store.

In a media release Thursday, the RCMP is asking people to look at any video surveillance of residences or businesses in the area between the Canmore General Hospital and Canmore Visitor Information Centre between 2:30 and 3:50 a.m.

They are also asking for anyone who drove on the Trans-Canada Highway on May 1 between 3 and 6:30 a.m. who saw a woman walking in the area to review any dashcam footage and contact police.

"Investigators are seeking any information regarding the movements of a slim blonde female wearing light blue jeans and a black shirt with sleeves," the police release stated.

The death of the young woman has recalled calls around safety on the highway through Canmore, including a call for a safe pedestrian crossing across the busy Trans-Canada Highway.

According to RCMP statistics, from November 2019 to March 2022 there have been three reported hit and run incidents between Dead Man’s Flats and the Banff National Park gates.

The police statistics also show 15 reported non-fatal injuries, 45 injuries, 98 single vehicle collisions and 63 animals being hit along the stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The Ministry of Transportation said there have been 639 reported collisions between 2009-18, including two involving pedestrians.