'Kind, gentle' woman killed on her 20th birthday by hit-and-run driver in Canmore, says mourning family

·2 min read
'Ari was a kind, gentle, loving, intelligent friend to all who were lucky enough to know her. She always made time for everyone who reached out no matter what they needed,' wrote family member Jodi Blackwood in a Facebook post on Thursday.  (Ari Blackwood/VSCO - image credit)
'Ari was a kind, gentle, loving, intelligent friend to all who were lucky enough to know her. She always made time for everyone who reached out no matter what they needed,' wrote family member Jodi Blackwood in a Facebook post on Thursday. (Ari Blackwood/VSCO - image credit)

Family members have identified the victim of a hit-and-run last weekend on a highway in Canmore, Alta., saying she was a "kind, gentle" woman who was killed on her 20th birthday.

Parents Jodi and Mark Blackwood identified the victim in a Facebook post published Thursday as Ariana (Ari) Blackwood.

Jodi Blackwood said her daughter was hit by a vehicle and killed early Sunday morning — the morning of her 20th birthday — around 3:30 a.m.

The Mounties have appealed for the public's help, saying the woman was struck by a vehicle early Sunday morning in an eastbound lane of the Trans-Canada Highway near the Canmore Visitor Information Centre.

"Ari was a kind, gentle, loving, intelligent friend to all who were lucky enough to know her. She always made time for everyone who reached out no matter what they needed," Jodi wrote in the post.

"We are absolutely heartbroken and devastated at this tragic loss."

A police spokesperson told CBC News on Sunday that RCMP became aware of the hit-and-run after they got a call from someone who said they saw "something suspicious" on the road.

"Police responded and that's when the body was discovered," said Cpl. Gina Slaney.

RCMP asking everyone to review surveillance video

On Thursday, RCMP renewed their request for the public's assistance in the investigation.

Police are asking residences and businesses in the area between Canmore Hospital and the Canmore Visitor Information Centre to review surveillance footage between 2:30 a.m. and 3:50 a.m. on May 1.

They are looking for any footage of a "slim blond female wearing light blue jeans and a black shirt with sleeves."

Police are also asking anyone who was driving on Highway 1 in Canmore on May 1 between 3 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. who may have seen a female walking in the area to review dash cam footage.

Anyone with information can contact Canmore RCMP at 403-678-5519 or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.

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