Woman killed in Central Saanich was massage therapist who worked with Olympians

Sister remains in critical condition after women were struck by SUV on Monday

Kim Ward, a Victoria massage therapist who worked with some of Canada’s top athletes at two Olympics, has been identified as the woman killed when she and her sister were struck by an SUV on Central Saanich Road Monday.

Her 48-year-old sister, Tracy Ward, remains in hospital in critical condition.

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The women were visiting their mother, who lives in a manufactured home park on Central Saanich Road. The sisters were walking two dogs about 7 p.m. Monday when they were struck from behind by a red Jeep SUV that crossed the centre line and drove onto the shoulder. A dog also died.

Kim Ward, 51, was part of the support team for Triathlon Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Victoria’s Simon Whitfield won silver, and at the 2012 London Olympics.

In a statement on Facebook, Triathlon Canada expressed its condolences: “Kim played a critical role in ensuring our athletes were healthy and fully prepared to achieve excellence each time they hit the start line. Kim was a true professional, a great teammate and a very dear friend.”

Dr. Steve Keeler, the team doctor for Triathlon Canada at both Olympics, said Ward had a steady and calm presence, an essential attribute when working with high-performance athletes.

Ward operated a massage therapy practice at her home in Victoria, but was planning to relocate to Sidney to be closer to her mother, said friend and colleague Robert Hasegawa, a sports chiropractor, who was also on the support team in Beijing.

“She gave her heart and soul [to her practice],” Hasegawa said.

Central Saanich police have confirmed that the vehicle that struck the women, a red Jeep SUV, rear-ended a black sedan about 20 minutes earlier on Mount Newton Cross Road at Lochside Drive.

Officers have spoken with the sedan driver, who provided information that helped police determine that the driver of the Jeep was involved in both collisions, said Const. Michelle Joyce.

Investigators are looking into whether the 27-year-old Jeep driver was impaired and whether there was a passenger in the Jeep.

Police ask anyone with information on either crash to call Det. Chad Vincent at 250-652-4441 ext. 3063. To make an anonymous report, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).

kderosa@timescolonist.com

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