Saskatchewan

Regina hit-and-run victim's sister says charge brings relief, but no closure

Regina Police have laid charges in connection to a fatal hit and run that happened late Sunday.

Elijah Beros, 37, charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident

Ashley Welsh-Gallon and her father, Jamie Gallon, at her high school graduation in 2013: the last time the two saw each other in person. Gallon died in Regina on Sunday. (Submitted by Welsh-Gallon)

Regina police have laid charges in connection with a fatal hit and run that happened late Sunday, but the charge isn't sitting well with some of the victim's family members. 

Elijah Beros, 37, is charged with failure to stop at the scene of an accident involving injury or death.

The charges come after 42-year-old Jamie Gallon's body was left unconscious near Ross Avenue and McDonald Street in Regina's industrial neighbourhood. 

Gallon had been riding a bicycle when he was hit by a vehicle, which left the scene. Gallon, whose family members said he was an avid cyclist, moved to Saskatchewan from Ontario a few years ago to find work.

Police spokesperson Les Parker said it was late at night when Gallon was hit and he was wearing dark clothing.

He said there is no evidence of dangerous driving at this time.

Family relieved by charge, but questions remain

The news is bittersweet for Gallon's sister, Brenda Spencer, who spoke to CBC News on the phone from Ontario.  

"I'm very happy that they found him, but it doesn't make it better at the end of the day. I'm not still going to get any closure. I didn't get to see my brother. That was taken away from me," she said.

Because the crash was a hit and run, Spencer said there are certain elements about the circumstances of the crash that remain unanswered.

"How do I know it wasn't reckless driving? Was [Beros] drinking and driving? Was he on his cellphone?" she asked. "We'll never know that because he took that away. He left the scene. So it's all perceived as an accident." 

Spencer said when she originally heard the charge she was upset, thinking it was not a serious charge. After speaking to police, Spencer said she's changed her mind. She's hoping Beros is sentenced to jail time.

Search for a suspect

On Tuesday, officers asked for the public's help finding a Ford F-150 with front-end damage.

The search led them to arrest and charge Beros, who they say was the driver that night. 

Police say they found firearms at Beros's home. He's also charged with careless firearm storage. 

He makes his first court appearance March 15 at Provincial Court.

Bringing Gallon home

Family members of Gallon set up a Gofundme page to bring him back to Ontario to be buried in his hometown of Cambridge, Ont.  

Enough funds have been raised to bring him home, Spencer said, but the family is still struggling with planning the funeral. 

"We're just kind of dealing day by day," Spencer said. 

Still, she's touched by the support, saying people the family hasn't spoken to in years are coming together and chipping in. 

She said it's been especially hard on the family to be so far from Gallon when he died. She said it "breaks my heart to know that he was on the side of the road himself and there was nobody there."