Teen killed in Cape Breton highway crash was 'a great kid'
17-year-old died shortly after being transported to hospital in Sydney, N.S., Sunday
A mother in Cape Breton is mourning the loss of her 17-year-old son after he was found on the side of a highway early Sunday morning.
Joneil Hanna of North Sydney, N.S., was struck by a motor vehicle around 3:30 Sunday morning on Highway 223 in Leitches Creek.
He was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"He was a great kid," his mother Jennifer Hanna said Monday. "He enjoyed baseball. He loved working with his stepdad on the weekends. He had lots of friends. He was a kind person. He loved his brothers. He loved his daughter — he had an eight-month-old daughter."
Joneil had been attending a large outdoor graduation party nearby, she said.
"I heard there was about 500 kids there. Cops were up and down the road all night," Hanna said.
"My son was bent over to tie his shoe when he was struck, and a few of his friends pulled him out of the ditch and tried to do CPR."
Cape Breton Regional Police are not confirming whether the 17-year-old was at the party, only that he was involved in a motor vehicle accident and that a vehicle was seized at the scene.
Staff Sgt. Bill Turner said police are still investigating what led to the accident and have not laid any charges.
But Turner confirmed there was a large police presence in the area that night because of complaints about a large outdoor party, and they charged a couple of people with liquor-related offences.
Turner had this caution: "Anybody who opens up their property to a large group who are consuming alcohol do bear some liability in relation to when the person leaves their property. I think a lot of people don't realize that."
Dovi Walker attends Memorial High School in Sydney Mines and knew Hanna.
"It's a big tragedy," he said. "I was shaken up hard, and still am. 'Cause it could have been anybody. He was a nice guy. Just the other day I was in his gym class … playing soccer with him. Pretty scary."
Police are asking that anyone with information about the teen's death call 902-563-5151 or contact authorities anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.