Family and friends of Jennie Graves are mourning her death after the 35-year-old woman was allegedly pushed from a moving truck on St. Mary’s Road on Wednesday.
“My daughter texted me and said, ‘Jennie’s dead. Is this true?’ I instantly started crying and called her house, spoke with her sister, and [was told] she got into a car accident,” said Stephanie Anaka, who has been friends with Graves for 10 years.
But police aren’t calling what happened to Graves an accident. They’ve laid a slew of charges against her common-law-husband, Keith Ryan Thompson, including criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.
“The victim had been a passenger in that vehicle when an argument between she and the driver occurred,” said Winnipeg police Const. Eric Hofley. “The argument turned physical, which resulted in the driver, while the vehicle was still in motion, pushing the victim out onto the road.”
Graves was rushed to hospital in critical condition but later died.
“I was with [Graves’ daughter] before … and she’s hurt. They miss their mom. They want her back,” said Anaka.
Graves had four children - two teenagers and two young children fathered by Thompson under the age of two.
Anaka said the couple were together on and off for seven years.
“She was getting her life better. She had been dealt a pretty hard hand at the beginning, and she had raised two little kids, and she wanted to go to school,” said Anaka. “When I spoke with her aunties they said her smile is going to be missed the most.”
The family is holding a candlelight vigil for Graves Friday night at 8:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Road and St Anne's Road.
All are welcome to attend.