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Alberta RCMP confirm arrest of suspect in fatal hit-and-run involving U-Haul van

A suspect wanted in connection with a deadly hit-and-run collision in Edmonton this weekend has been arrested, according to the RCMP.

Police confirmed to Global News on Wednesday morning that an arrest was made in Wainwright, Alta., and said more details would be released later in the day.

The hit-and-run killed a 45-year-old woman, who has later identified as Kassandra Gartner.

Click to play video: 'Fort Saskatchewan mom Kassandra Gartner identified as U-Haul hit-and-run victim'

Fort Saskatchewan mom Kassandra Gartner identified as U-Haul hit-and-run victim

The deadly incident unfolded on Saturday. At around 9:40 p.m., the Edmonton Police Service said it was asked by the RCMP to send officers to the area of 50th Street and 22nd Avenue S.W.

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Edmonton police were told that RCMP had tried to approach a U-Haul cube van in Beaumont, Alta., that they deemed to be suspicious at about 9 p.m.

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The RCMP said that the truck was outside of a business and that when officers “approached the truck and attempted an arrest, one male driver and one female passenger rammed into a police vehicle and fled the scene at a high rate of speed.”

“Patrols were initiated to find the truck and, a short time later, it was observed on 50th Street and Highway 814 in Beaumont,” the RCMP said in a news release. “Meanwhile, (the) Edmonton Police Service’s Air One Helicopter was notified and provided its location to RCMP members.

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“Multiple surrounding RCMP detachments, including Leduc and Strathcona, responded to assist. As the truck was driving into Edmonton, a tire-deflation device was deployed by RCMP, disabling multiple civilian vehicles.

“Consequently, an adult female exited one of the civilian vehicles and was fatally struck by the suspect truck. The truck failed to stop and continued driving into Edmonton.

“The suspect vehicle then collided with another civilian vehicle, leaving an adult male in serious non-life-threatening condition. The truck was located at 50th Street and 22nd Avenue in southwest Edmonton.”

Police reported that the U-Haul was travelling north on 50th Street into Edmonton when it struck and killed the woman.

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Edmonton police allege the suspect vehicle then stopped just outside a gas station off of 22nd Avenue and 50th Street, before someone in the truck stole a Honda Civic that was parked outside the gas station. They said the car had a child inside.

Edmonton police said they considered sending out an Amber Alert at the time, but moments later the child was found unharmed in the area of 66th Street and 25th Avenue. The suspect then fled the scene in the Honda Civic, police said.

On Sunday, Edmonton police described the event as an RCMP incident that “spilled into Edmonton.”

Investigators searched for the stolen car — a Honda Civic — and the suspect.

Shortly before 11 a.m. on Monday, the EPS said the stolen Honda Civic was recovered earlier in that morning near Wainwright, but said at the time that the suspect was still on the loose.

The RCMP said Alberta’s police watchdog has been tasked with conducting an independent investigation into the actions of police officers in connection with the series of events.

The RCMP said it will also be conducting its own internal review.

More to come…


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