Post-mortem today on Indigenous woman hit by trailer hitch in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Driver, second passenger in vehicle from which the hitch was thrown unlikely to be charged, police say
A post-mortem is scheduled Thursday in the case of the First Nations mother who died this week in Thunder Bay, Ont., after being hit by a trailer hitch thrown from a passing car.
Barbara Kentner, 34, was struck in the abdomen by the metal hitch as she was walking home at night in a residential neighbourhood in January. She never recovered from her injuries, according to her family. Kentner died on Tuesday, leaving behind a 16-year-old daughter.
- First Nations woman dies after being hit by trailer hitch thrown from passing car in Thunder Bay, Ont.
- Thunder Bay woman's trailer hitch death 'a horrific act of racism,' says cousin
- Trailer hitch thrown in assault of First Nations woman in Thunder Bay, Ont.
Brayden Bushby, 18, was charged with aggravated assault shortly after the attack. The Nishnawbe Aski Nation and Kentner's cousin, Debbie Kakegamic, are calling for the charges to be upgraded in light of Kentner's death.
"After that post-mortem, those results by the coroner will be reviewed by the [police] investigators with the Crown, and at that point a determination then will be made in terms of upgrading or not upgrading the charges," said Chris Adams, the communications director with the Thunder Bay police.
Kakegamic said she'd also like to see charges against the two other people who were in the car from which the trailer hitch was thrown.
"The other people involved that were in the vehicle, they should all have some type of charge as well," she told As It Happens on Wednesday.
But police say that is not the direction the investigation is going.
"I would say at this time, the accused in this case is the focus, and the others were spoken to as witnesses," Adams said.
Family members also believe what happened to Kentner was racially motivated and should be prosecuted as a hate crime.
Police said if someone is convicted in relation to the attack, and an investigation reveals the victim's race was a factor, that could be a factor in sentencing.