A man charged in connection with the hit-and-run of a young mother in Constance Bay, Ont., early Sunday morning was a friend of the victim, according to people in the community.

Jeremy Rees, 23, surrendered to police Monday afternoon, his lawyer Paolo Giancaterino confirmed.

Rees is charged with impaired driving causing death, criminal negligence causing death and failure to remain at the scene of a collision in the death of Erin Vance, 26, early Sunday morning.

He will spend the night in jail and is scheduled to appear in court at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Victim, suspect, sat at same table

Vance was walking home with her boyfriend and four other people from a St. Patrick's Day party when she was struck at about 2:30 a.m. 


Erin Vance, 26, was killed while walking along Bayview Drive in Constance Bay, Ont., early Sunday morning. (Facebook)

Bar owner Mary Charlebois said she drove by Vance and her partner before the collision and said she thought about picking them up, but left them because they were just a couple of minutes from home.

A friend and an uncle said the suspect, Rees, had been sitting at the same table as Vance and her boyfriend at the bar.

Engineer tried CPR, saw car had plowed into tree

Ottawa Fire Service engineer Duncan McNaughton said he heard a crash outside his home on Bayview Drive in Constance Bay.

McNaughton then said he ran outside and found Vance in the bushes along the road.

He also said he saw a car had plowed into a tree.

"We started CPR on her immediately. It didn't look very positive," said McNaughton. "I did that until Ottawa fire service, paramedic and police showed up."

There were muddy tread marks and broken trees where the car came to rest. Police said the driver left the car and ran away.

Neighbours said it is a dangerous stretch of road. In 2005, a drunk driver killed a man and seriously injured a woman as they walked down the same stretch of road.

Young mother of twin boys

The death of Vance, a single mother of twin five-year-old boys, was a shock to the community.

Catherine Cross worked with Vance at the Quarry Park Equestrian Centre, where Vance took care of the horses. Cross said staff are planning a fundraiser to help her two children, Caleb and Liam, who will now be raised by their grandparents.

Cross said the children often mucked around in the mud at the centre.

"They were awesome kids and they deserve a great life," said Cross.