Winkler high school student died after she was hit by a vehicle Thursday afternoon.

It happened just after 3:30 p.m. as Grade 11 student Carina Denisenko was walking through a crosswalk on Highway 428 outside Northlands Parkway Collegiate (NPC).​

'It is very, very sad to see that in order to get issues resolved with the department of highways you have to have a fatality.'- Winkler Mayor Martin Harder

In a letter to what she calls the NPC family, principal Tammy MacDonald calls Denisenko's death a "tragic loss" and urges parents to talk about the crash with their children.

Sharing feelings and staying together may help the students cope with the tragedy, MacDonald says in the letter.

The school has formed a crisis support team made up of counsellors and psychologists. Local youth pastors are also available to give the students support.

Winkler Mayor Martin Harder said the community was worried about how fast cars drive on the highway near the new school.

The speed limit had been lowered to 50 km/h before the start of this school year but Harder said the provincial department of highways is moving much too slow to install proper flashing lights and to paint crosswalk lines where Denisenko was struck.

Harder said the City of Winkler has been asking for that for months.

"Is there going to be more pressure? Absolutely. It is very, very sad to see that in order to get issues resolved with the department of highways you have to have a fatality," he said.

"We don't want to start placing blame," he added. "All I want to do is ensure that people understand our concern about safety and we are deeply, deeply concerned about this family."

There's no word yet if charges will be laid in the crash.

The city of Winkler is located about 125 kilometres southwest of Winnipeg.

The following is a letter from Northlands Parkway Collegiate principal Tammy MacDonald. 

Northlands Parkway Collegiate letter

Northlands Parkway Collegiate principal Tammy MacDonald issued this letter to parents and posted it on its website on Friday. (Northlands Parkway Collegiate)