Charges laid in hit and run death of Maple Ridge mother

A man from Chilliwack and his younger brother have both been charged in connection with the hit and run of death of Laura Jeglum-Woycheshen, a mother and grandmother from Maple Ridge.

Serveral charges have been laid against Ryan Lowe of Chilliwack including impaired driving causing death

Laura Jeglum-Woycheshen, 48, was killed in a hit and run crash in Maple Ridge on Sept. 14, 2017. (Facebook)

A man from Chilliwack and his younger brother have both been charged in connection with the hit and run of death of Laura Jeglum-Woycheshen, a mother and grandmother from Maple Ridge.

Jeglum-Woycheshen, 48, was riding her motorcycle on Lougheed Highway near 287 Street with a group of friends on Sept. 14, 2017 when a car crashed into her.

Witnesses told police that an eastbound vehicle tried to pass another car and hit the lead motorcyclist head-on in the oncoming lane.

She was killed and two others were seriously injured.

Police announced at a news conference Tuesday that Ryan Lowe, 33, has been charged with dangerous driving causing death, impaired driving causing death, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, public mischief and two counts each of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and impaired driving causing bodily harm.

Lowe's brother Robert, 31, has been charged with one count of obstructing a peace officer.

"The last five months have been the hardest time of my life," Jeglum-Woycheshen's son, Rob Jeglum, said.

"It's a big hit. We have kids. They ask about her. We have to try to tell them what happened and make sure we're consoling them, making sure we console ourselves and consoling others."

About two dozen of Jeglum-Woycheshen's friends and family members, some wearing T-shirts that read "Cowards Run," attended the media briefing.

Jeglum-Woycheshen's sister, Brandy Gibson, left, and son, Rob Jeglum, right, attend an RCMP news conference in Maple Ridge. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

The investigation

A week after Jeglum-Woycheshen's death, police recovered an abandoned 2003 Pontiac Sunfire and linked it to the crash.

Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk says investigators interviewed countless witnesses, looked over cell phone records and reviewed hundreds of hours of surveillance video from Maple Ridge, Mission, Abbotsford and Chilliwack.

"The driver did flee the scene, and it takes a significant amount of time to put those pieces of the puzzle back together," said Sgt. Brenda Gresiuk.

Ryan Lowe was arrested last Friday and appeared Monday in provincial court in Port Coquiltam.

He was released on bail.

His brother was also released on a promise to appear.

Jeglum-Woycheshen's friends and family members hugged police officers as they left the RCMP news conference where charges were announced against Ryan Lowe. (Jesse Johnston/CBC)

Remembering Laura

The only time Rob Jeglum managed to smile at the news conference was when he talked about what his mother loved more than anything else — riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle.

"Maybe in my later years, maybe I took a bit of a backseat to her Harley," he laughed.

"Maybe there's a bit of resentment toward that, but she loved getting out on it."

Brandy Gibson remembers her sister as the glue that held her family together.

"We've gone through some holidays, and it's not the same," Gibson said.

"I mean we all gather, and we're all gathered today and even in this room, Laura would have been the one that you heard with the laughter. Trying to ease the moment. Trying to ease the tension."