Ahead of a trial for the man accused of killing a teenager in a hit-and-run crash in Edmonton, the victim’s father says his pain is still just as raw as it was back in April 2018.
“It’s been two-and-a half years, and it might as well have been yesterday,” Michael Wiwchar said.
Sixteen-year-old Chloe Wiwchar was coming home from her boyfriend’s residence the night she died. She got off the bus and went to use a crosswalk at Kingsway and Tower Road.
Police allege that a driver ran her over and fled the scene.
The suspect was followed by an off-duty police officer, who had stopped to let Chloe cross.
Michael remembers getting the call from the Royal Alexandra Hospital that night. He said staff asked him to come in regarding Chloe.
“I was like, ‘What happened? What happened?’ he recalled.
“I just figured, typical teenager, out partying too much.”
But as Michael drove past the crash scene en route to the hospital, he found out his daughter was dead.
Police arrested 47-year-old lawyer Shane Stevenson and charged him with impaired driving causing death, over 80mg% causing death and hit and run causing death.
The news broke Michael. He said he still struggles at work and at home with his family.
“(I’m) taking meds and doing therapy, basically trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together again,” he said.
Michael said the ripple effect impacted Chloe’s extended family, her co-workers at what is now called the Edmonton Convention Centre, her teachers at school and her friends — some of whom he says didn’t graduate that year as a result of the trauma.
Stevenson is due in court Monday for the start of his trial. He’s been out on bail the entire time.
“The court process — in my view — is completely broken,” Michael said.
“Two-and-a-half years of no movement on anything, no further steps towards closure — no nothing.”
He said he is hopeful that Monday’s proceedings will bring him some peace, but said nothing will bring back his daughter.
Chloe would have been 19 years old now. Michael hopes she would have followed her goal of helping people as a social worker and gone to school at MacEwan University.
“Sticking to her studies, you know, have her own place, her own vehicle — just living life,” he said.
Chloe’s parents plan on being in court on Monday. It will be a no-jury trial.
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