A First Nations woman who was hit by a trailer hitch, thrown from a passing car in Thunder Bay, Ont., last January, has died.

Barbara Kentner, 34, required surgery after being hit in the abdomen by the trailer hitch on Jan. 29. She was released from hospital in time to take part in a walk in her honour on Feb. 5, but later returned to medical care.

Her sister, Melissa Kentner told CBC News in March that Barbara would not recover from her injuries. Melissa posted on Facebook early Tuesday  that Barbara had died. She and other family members confirmed the death with CBC News.

The passenger in the car yelled, "Oh, I got one," after throwing the hitch at the sisters who were walking on McKenzie Street between Dease and Cameron streets, Melissa Kentner told CBC News in February.

The internal damage when Kentner was hit in the kidneys by the hitch was irreparable and proved fatal, her sister said.

'An escalation of violence'

"There is an escalation of violence in this city and we must not minimize these horrible situations," said Nishnawbe Aski Nation Deputy Grand Chief Anna Betty Achneepineskum in a statement on Tuesday afternoon. 

"A young Indigenous mother died today, and a young girl is without her mother — this should not happen."

Brayden Bushby, 18, was charged with aggravated assault relating to the incident. Thunder Bay police told CBC News they are looking into whether the charges will be changed, in light of Kentner's death.

With files from Martha Troian