Sister of Cape Breton hit-and-run victim says he was a military veteran with PTSD
Published Tuesday, March 14, 2017 7:24PM ADT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 15, 2017 6:15AM ADT
The sister of a man killed in a hit-and-run incident near Sydney over the weekend is speaking out, confirming he was a military veteran seeking help for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Jackie Deveau was hit and killed on Highway 125 in Mira Road, N.S. Saturday night, only two days after his sister, Ida Lelievre, says he was admitted to the Cape Breton Regional Hospital for PTSD treatment.
“We were shocked because we're not really sure what happened,” says Lelievre. “He hadn't even been in the hospital for 48 hours, so for us we have a lot of questions that are still unanswered.”
CTV News reached out to the Nova Scotia Health Authority, but it declined to comment, citing privacy issues.
Jackie Deveau served in the Royal Canadian Air Force for 35 years. He recently retired and returned home to the place he loved - Cape Breton.
Deveau served as a peacekeeper in Operation Desert Storm in Kuwait, but his struggle with PTSD began in 1998. He was part of the cleanup of Swissair Flight 111 that crashed off Peggy’s Cove, killing everyone on board.
His sister says memories of the tragedy left emotional scars, and kept Deveau awake at night. He had been seeking help ever since, but Lelievre says there are gaps in services when it comes to treatment for mental health.
“How many are going to have to die, before we do something about it?” she says. “How many more families have to suffer?”
Questions also surround who was driving the grey Volkswagen that struck Deveau. Police say there would be damage on the passenger side of the vehicle that left the scene.
“Of course there's anger, there's pain, there's sorrow,” says Lelievre. “It's beyond words as to how or why somebody would just leave a man to die on the side of the road.”
Lelievre says, if the driver of the vehicle that hit her brother comes forward, he or she will be forgiven.
Family and friends from across Canada, including members of the military, will be arriving in Cheticamp on the weekend for a celebration of Deveau's life.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore