The woman killed by a stolen vehicle that fled a RIDE spot check in downtown Guelph, Ont., early Sunday morning has been identified as 24-year-old Grace Glofcheskie of Arnprior, a University of Guelph graduate who was a member of the varsity golf team. 

'You were incredible and you were young. This wasn't supposed to happen!'
- Facebook post on Grace Glofcheskie's death

The driver is still at large, according to investigators. They say the suspected car thief ditched the vehicle and fled on foot after striking Glofcheskie and leaving her wounded in the street following a wild and frantic attempt to escape a police spot check. 

Ontario's police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), which has been called in to oversee the case, says the driver refused to stop after a provincial police officer tried to flag down the vehicle.

The officer followed the vehicle and found it abandoned after it had careened into Glofcheskie. She was later pronounced dead at hospital.

Grace Glofcheskie

Grace Glofcheskie, 24, was a member of the Guelph Gryphons women's golf team. She was killed 12 days before Christmas by a suspect in a stolen vehicle who police allege was trying to evade a downtown spot check for drunk drivers. (University of Guelph)

The vehicle had smashed into a utility pole at high speed and snapped it, people living near the scene reported.

The driver fled on foot, according to the SIU. 

On Sunday afternoon, Guelph police issued a public plea for help in finding the driver, asking anyone who might have information to call investigators. 

Police say the suspect allegedly stole the vehicle in the Eastview Road and Starwood Drive area in Guelph's east end.

No description of the driver was available, but police say given the severity of the crash, the suspect is likely injured.

Glofcheskie had 'incredible drive'

There was an outpouring of personal messages of grief Monday on social media from people who knew the 24-year-old during her time at the University of Guelph.

"I couldn't write this last night. I thought it must have been a bad dream," said Charles Hamilton, who says he knew Glofcheskie while students at the university's College of Biological Sciences Student Council in 2012, where she was vice-president of academic and alumni affairs.

"An outstanding scholar, magnificent athlete, an engaged community organizer, always finding a way to give back, and an amazing cook — my God this lady could bake up a storm," he wrote on his personal Facebook page. 

"You were incredible and you were young. This wasn't supposed to happen! You had just brilliantly defended your Masters. You were just about to start your life," Fatima Cheliat, a University of Guelph teaching assistant who also knew Glofcheskie through the student council, wrote on her Facebook page.

A student council Facebook post said: "Grace was the mastermind and driving force behind every pink shirt, auction sign, and dance move. 

"Grace was always advocating for the students of the CBS, and ensuring they were always put first," it said. 

Glofcheskie was well known for her love of golf. She captained the University of Guelph varsity women's golf team for three years.

"She would want to be remembered, on the golf side, as a fierce competitor, but also someone who was very warm and generous at the same time," Gryphons golf coach Brandon McLeod told CBC News.

"[She] wanted to kick your butt in, but was the first one to say 'good job' and shake their hands if they ended up being better that day."

McLeod said she was on the team for each of the five years she was eligible. She continued to be a mentor to the varsity team for the men and women's teams after she finished varsity in spring 2015.

With files from the CBC's Jackie Sharkey