The Blackfalds RCMP, Crimestoppers and the family of Heather Lawrence have put together a billboard campaign in an attempt to find the suspect involved in a hit and run that took place on July 6, 2022. The hit and run claimed the life of Heather Lawrence who was bicycling south of 40th Avenue at McKenzie Road when she was struck by the vehicle. Lawrence died as a result of her injuries.
“This still is a very active investigation with RCMP. We have received some tips, but the investigation still really needs more tips,” said Troy Savinkoff, Media Relations Officer.
In order to promote awareness, the family is hoping a billboard campaign will help bring closure to the situation.
“It's been really challenging. One thing we know is that we want this person found. I know that it's going to bring us some small peace. It won't bring back Heather, it won't. But if we can have even some small solace in in any of this situation, it would be really good,” explained Shane Lawrence who is Heather’s brother.
Three billboards will all be erected on 51 Avenue South of 52 Street, 55 Avenue West of 45 Street, and on Taylor Drive South of 67 Street. They feature photos of the suspect vehicle and some information about the incident.
Shane added that the billboard campaign was something that Heather’s family wasn’t sure they wanted to do initially.
“We thought that looking back on this time like 10 years from now and thinking about what if we hadn't done it, we would always wonder if it would have made a difference,” said Lawrence.
Heather was an active community member and a passionate cyclist. She frequently cycled in the area that she was struck as well as all over the City of Red Deer.
“She died doing what she loved to do most. I used to cycle with her, but she was really fast I could never keep up with her... She made a real family for herself here in the theatre community, and in the cycling community. She had a really tight knit group of friends who would call her family. She was family focused, she was dedicated to her job, she was a pediatric physician and she worked very hard to make sure that her kids got everything they needed,” explained Shane Lawrence.
Currently, not a ton of information is known about the suspect vehicle and the owner of the vehicle.
“We are currently seeking information in regards to this vehicle. It's a late 1999 to 2003 Mazda Protege, believed to be dark color, green tinge paint, possibly a homemade paint job. The vehicle at the time did have the market rims described as having a loud exhaust and would have had front end damage to the vehicle,” explained Sargeant Brandon Humbke who is the lead investigator for the incident.
Humbke noted that RCMP have not been able to determine if the vehicle had been previously stolen but noted that there have not been any vehicles of its description reported as stolen in the area.
Regardless of what happens with the investigation, Shane Lawrence is positive Heather will not be forgotten in the community.
“There's memorial ride that's happening now, annually. There's annual fundraiser that's happening in my sister’s name so she's definitely going to be remembered,” he added.
If you have information on the investigation, you can contact Blackfalds RCMP at 403-885-3300 or you can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).