Friends mourning loss of woman killed in Disraeli Bridge crash
Kaitlyn Fraser had recently celebrated her 19th birthday. Now, friends and relatives are planning her funeral after her vehicle plummeted off a bridge.
Fraser was behind the wheel of an SUV that went off the Disraeli Bridge and plunged about 45 feet (13.7 m) onto the riverbank below on Jan. 18.
Ashley Quiering graduated from high school alongside Fraser last summer and said many are grieving her death.
"She made an impact on a lot of people. So…I'm not the only one feeling this way. It's just hard because she was such an amazing person. Her smile made you feel so happy," said Quiering.
Fraser was on her way to a job interview at a clothing store on Wednesday afternoon.
Police said the 19-year-old was driving over the Disraeli Bridge when she lost control, hitting another vehicle. Her SUV then broke through a guard rail and fell off the bridge.
"Her car was a wreck. I couldn't imagine what she was feeling going off that bridge," said Quiering.
Some of Fraser's friends wonder if the bridge conditions played a factor in the crash, questioning if the bridge had been sanded, along with questioning the strength of its guard rails.
The city maintains that the bridge is safe and said it was last inspected in December 2011.
City officials also said the bridge had been recently sanded, though they can't confirm exactly when. They said sand might not have made a difference, however, as it doesn't stick well to snow and ice when temperatures drop to the extremely cold levels seen in Winnipeg on Wednesday.
Officers continue to investigate the cause of the crash.
"Winnipeg…is a winter city and winter driving conditions are in effect in January so are they a factor in the crash? Obviously, we are going to be looking at that," said Const. Chris Winfield from Winnipeg police.
Quiering said Fraser recently got her driver's licence.
"I'm definitely going to be more cautious. It could happen to anyone," said Quiering.
Close friends went back to the crash site to lay flowers for Fraser on Thursday.
"She was here for 19 years, but the impact she made on everyone's lives will live on forever," said Quiering.
- with reports from CTV's Stacey Ashley and Deborah Mensah-Bonsu