Family of teen struck and killed on Cape Breton highway looks for answers
Madeleine Christie faces an uncertain future after the father of her eight-month-old baby girl, Harper, was struck and killed by a vehicle early Sunday morning near Leitches Creek, N.S.
“Joneil was like my rock,” said the 19-year-old Christie. “He was my best friend for so long.”
An autopsy shows 17-year-old Joneil Hanna died instantly, but that’s cold comfort to his girlfriend and the mother of his child.
“Just knowing he was so hurt, hurts me a lot,” she said. “I think it's going to stay with me forever. I couldn't do something to help him. I couldn't be there to hold him or anything.”
She and Hanna’s family are looking for answers after he was killed while walking home on a dark highway. They want to know why charges haven't yet been laid and why the driver wasn't given a breathalyzer test at the scene.
Hanna's mother, Jennifer, says her son was at a graduation party not far from where he was struck and killed.
She says she has a lot of unanswered questions after meeting with investigators.
“They did let me know that without the evidence the young man that hit him won't be charged,” she said. “There won't be anything done. They did say everybody that was in the vehicle with him said he was not drinking.”
Cape Breton Regional Police will not say if the driver of the car attended the party. They did confirm some teens were drinking at the party and were arrested. They also said they did not break up the party because they were concerned for the safety of their officers doing that on a poorly lit property.
Jennifer Hanna feels someone should be held accountable for her son's death. So far police have not laid any charges and would not say if any are pending.
“On the scene they did not do a breathalyzer,” Hanna said. “They did not do any blood tests. They said they didn't have enough evidence against him. He didn't look like he was impaired.”
Cape Breton Regional Police confirm the driver was not issued a breathalyzer test, saying they need evidence to warrant one.
Hanna says if nothing changes in the coming days, she's planning on taking legal action.
“I'm just going to try everything I can to get justice for my kid,” she said. “He deserves it.”
She says her son loved his family, his friends, and baseball. His wake will be Wednesday and his funeral is Thursday. He will be laid to rest in his baseball uniform.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore.