Members of the Calgary Sudanese community are calling for the suspect in a fatal hit-and-run to come forward after a young woman was killed.
Aloka Akot was walking in a crosswalk on 17 Avenue SE on October 17 when she was hit by a vehicle, says a fundraising campaign for her family. A day later she died of her injuries in hospital.
Gar Gar, a local community leader, said he knew Akot through social events and described her as a kind person who would always look to help where she could. He said her death has left the local Sudanese community in mourning.
“We lost a lot of youths, especially younger youths under 17 to under 30. But the real shock came when we saw that it was a hit and run,” Gar said. “It was really hard to believe news. It’s like a wound that has just been reopened.”
A GoFundMe campaign started to help raise funds for funeral costs describes Akot as a beautiful mother and strong young woman with a kind heart. She was adored and loved by her family and friends.
“We are in so much pain and disbelief over the loss of our beautiful Aloka,” reads the campaign description. “Good, generous, optimistic and caring were her strong qualities.”
On October 27, just before 20:00, a Dark-colored sedan was traveling westbound on 17 Avenue SE As it approached the intersection with 44 Street SE, a woman, later identified as Akot, entered the intersection and was struck by the sedan, a Calgary police news release said said on October 28. Police said the vehicle may now have damage to the front passenger side. The driver did not stop at the scene.
Police asked that anyone with dashcam footage or anyone who saw the hit-and-run contact them.
Gar issued a similar plea on Saturday, asking witnesses to come forward. He also appealed to the suspect to come forward.
“Not only is her family suffering, but the whole community is suffering,” Gar said. “This community has suffered so much and the one thing (the suspect) can do to ease that pain is to come forward.”
Akot’s family could not be reached on Saturday.
Anyone with information about the hit-and-run is asked to contact CPS at 403-266-1234. Anonymous tips can be submitted through Crime Stoppers.
The Sudanese communities in Calgary and Edmonton recently held a conference to discuss ways they can support each other after organizers said they have lost nearly 50 young people to a variety of issues since the onset of COVID-19. Organizers of the conference said solutions will have to come from the community and be supported by lawmakers.