Essex County OPP has charged the estranged husband of Nancy Quick with first-degree murder in her 2006 death.

Scott Douglas Quick, 48, was arrested without incident in Belleville Wednesday. Police said he has been a person of interest since the time of his wife's death nine years ago.

Nancy Quick, 40, died Feb. 28, 2006 when she was hit while crossing the road near St. William Catholic School in Lakeshore, Ont., where she worked as an educational assistant.

Det. Insp. Dave Hillman calls it a "bittersweet moment."

"There is no happy ending," said Hillman. "It's a very tragic story but I think in the same sense, there's always some sense of relief when somebody is arrested. It brings some potential closure to an investigation, especially after nine years.

wdr-nancy-galbraith-quick

Nancy Galbraith-Quick, 40, died after she was struck by a minivan in Feb. 2006 in Emeryville, near Windsor, Ont. (Crime Stoppers)

"Two children lost their mother to a set of tragic and violent circumstances in 2006," he continued. "These same two children are faced with the fact that their father is accused of committing that violent act against their mother."

After his arrest Wednesday, Scott Douglas Quick was taken to the Essex County OPP detachment that night.

He appeared in court Thursday afternoon.

His lawyer, Patrick Ducharme, says Quick will enter a preliminary not guilty plea, and will seek bail.

His next court appearance is scheduled for April 16.

Children 'in turmoil and deep pain'

"Today is a day the Galbraith family hoped will come," said Gloria Galbraith, Nancy Quick's sister-in-law and one of the three family members at Thursday's media conference. "It brings with it feelings of great sadness and of continuing deep pain and sorrow, as over nine years ago, a beautiful, loving, caring, daughter, sister, friend was tragically taken from our lives."

Galbraith said the family's thoughts are with Quick's two children — "now beautiful and vibrant young adults whose world was torn apart nine years ago and with today's events whose lives are in turmoil and deep pain."

St. William Catholic School reacts

"As a staff, it's been hard," said Denise Masse, a teacher at St. William who worked with Quick.

Shortly after Quick's death, the school installed a memorial with a tree and engraved stone bearing Quick's name and the words "in hope."

"I think we were relieved that there's been some new progress," Masse said. "We'd like to thank the police for diligently working on the case and not giving up on it and not giving up on Nancy."

A mini-van 'drove directly at Nancy striking her'

In February 2006, Nancy Quick, along with her two children — a nine-year-old and an 11-year-old — left their home in Tecumseh, Ont. at about 8:20 a.m.

She dropped the two children off at their elementary school and drove to the Lakeshore school where she worked.

Police said Quick got there between 8:45 a.m. and 9 a.m. and parked her car in her usual parking spot by a nearby church. When she left her car, she started walking toward the sidewalk near an intersection.

"Nancy turned around and began walking back to her car. And at this point, a mini-van which had been observed by witnesses stationary in the church parking lot accelerated quickly and drove directly at Nancy striking her with the front of the van," said Det. Insp. Hillman. "The same vehicle had been reported stolen only moments earlier."

Hillman said the vehicle did not stop after hitting Quick, nor did the driver make an attempt to slow down when leaving the scene.

The van drove down Emery Street and failed to stop at the nearby intersection of County Road 22, before heading westbound toward Tecumseh.

The vehicle was found minutes later, abandoned about one kilometre from Quick's school.

"Witnesses observed a lone male exiting the driver's side door of the van, and he walked away quickly from the vehicle," said Hillman.

Quick was rushed to hospital in Windsor, and later transported to a hospital in Detroit, Mich. She died five days later on Feb. 28, 2006.