News Toronto

Car found, driver still mystery in fatal hit-run

Toronto Sun crime reporter Chris Doucette. (Sun files)

By Chris Doucette, Toronto Sun

TORONTO - 

The car that is thought to have hit and killed a 63-year-old woman on a Don Mills sidewalk last week — after she did “everything right” — has been found.

But investigators say the owner is being “unco-operative” and police have yet to determine who was driving it when Debbie Graves was killed.

Toronto Police have revealed a badly damaged, grey 2014 Nissan Rogue, with Ontario licence plate BVVH 900, was located at a body shop on Friday — two days after the hit-and-run.

“We received information on the location of the car,” Traffic Services Const. Clint Stibbe said Wednesday, unable to offer any further details on how police were led to the body shop.

He said the Nissan, registered to Erin Wright, 28, of Toronto, has damage to its right front fender and headlight assembly.

“She is being unco-operative,” Stibbe said of Wright, unable to elaborate. “And she has not reported the collision to police, which she is required to do under the Highway Traffic Act as the owner of the vehicle.”

Graves, who worked for Numeris and was in town on business from New Brunswick, had just left a restaurant after enjoying dinner with a co-worker when she was struck on York Mills Rd. near Don Mills Rds. shortly after 11 p.m. on Oct. 4.

Stibbe said she and her friend were heading back to the Westin Prince hotel — directly across the street from the restaurant — when Graves suggested they go out of their way and walk to the corner to cross at the intersection.

“They had just been talking about how many pedestrians have been hit mid-block recently,” he said.

The pair walked east along the south side of York Mills to Don Mills and when they arrived at the intersection, the countdown timer had begun, so they decided to wait for the next light to be safe.

Once the light changed, they crossed to the north side and headed back west along the sidewalk toward the hotel.

That’s when the Nissan, travelling west on York Mills, suddenly left the roadway for unknown reasons, jumped the curb, hit Graves, and drove off.

The mother of two died at the scene.

“This was a person who went out of her way to do everything right,” Stibbe said of the victim. “She was being safe and doing exactly what she was supposed to do.”

Investigators now know the Nissan was driven along numerous streets in a residential area just west of where Graves was killed between 10:30 p.m. on Oct. 4 and 1:30 a.m. on Oct. 5, Stibbe said.

He urged members of the public to contact police if they have video surveillance equipment recording the areas around their residence or business, or motorists with dashcam footage, during that time on the following streets:

  • Birchwood Ave.
  • Fenn Ave.
  • Gordon Rd.
  • Munro Blvd.
  • Old Yonge St.
  • Owen Blvd.
  • Upper Highland Cr.
  • York Mills Rd.

Anyone with information is asked to call Traffic Services at 416-808-1900 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

cdoucette@postmedia.com