MERRITT, BRITISH COLUMBIA – The mayor of Merritt, B.C., says a city councillor has been killed in an apparent hit-and-run crash outside another community.
Mayor Michael Goetz says he understands Coun. Claire Newman had been on her way to meet her husband ahead of a planned trip to Alaska to visit an ailing friend.
He says she was fatally struck by a vehicle on Tuesday outside Valemount, B.C., about 400 kilometres northeast of her community in the province’s southern Interior.
Cpl. Madonna Saunderson with the RCMP’s north district said she was working to confirm details about the crash before releasing a statement.
Goetz says he and the rest of Newman’s council colleagues are devastated by her death, which has left “a giant hole” in the mayor’s heart.
He says Newman was passionate about policy and was an integral member of council.
“Claire was the cheerleader of this council and a driving force that you rarely come across,” the mayor said in a statement. “Getting to know Claire over the past six months has been a great pleasure and I am a better person for having known her.
“To her family and friends, I offer my deepest sympathies.”
Goetz says he and city officials will carry on the work Newman had championed to honour her legacy, while taking some time to mourn and reflect upon her death.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 5, 2023.