Stepmother wants answers over police pursuit, deadly crash
Ryan Flanagan, CTV Kitchener
Published Tuesday, November 7, 2017 5:55PM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, November 7, 2017 7:05PM EST
The stepmother of a 16-year-old girl killed in a car crash that came after a police pursuit from Cambridge to Hamilton says she wants to know why police made the decisions they did.
“I get their job is to uphold the law to a certain extent, but what is that extent?” Alia Parker said Tuesday.
“This resulted in the loss of two lives.”
Taryn Hewitt and her 15-year-old boyfriend Nathan Wehrle were killed Oct. 5, when the car they were in collided with a transport truck on Highway 6, near the community of Freelton.
Police had been pursuing their car, which Wehrle had stolen from a friend of his sister’s.
The pursuit was initiated after police were told that somebody inside the car may have been abducted, based on an argument that was witnessed outside the car on King Street in Cambridge.
Parker says police have told her they have video surveillance footage proving that there was an argument. She says she’s also been able to piece together some of what happened through text messages Hewitt sent to friends and relatives.
“Taryn dove back through the window as he was trying to pull away,” she said.
In one message, which Hewitt apparently sent to a friend, Hewitt suggested that police may have been trying to ram the stolen car.
“They tried to hit us werre [sic] done,” she wrote.
Parker describes Hewitt as a “ball of energy” and “big ray of sunshine” with an infectious laugh. She says her stepdaughter had been dating Wehrle for a few weeks.
“They seemed to be over-the-top in love with each other, in the short period of time they were together,” she said.
The crash and the events around it remain the subject of multiple investigations. The crash itself occurred in OPP territory, while Waterloo Regional Police have handed their own internal investigation over to the OPP.
Because Hewitt and Wehrle died during an interaction with police, Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit is also trying to figure out what happened.
Parker says she has had little interaction with police since the days immediately following the crash, and has received conflicting information about what happened from different organizations.
She says her main goal is to find out why police kept pursuing the two teenagers.
“Even if it was just a simple case of a car theft, is a car really worth the lives of two teenagers?” she said.
With reporting by Nicole Lampa and Katarina Milicevic