Memorial service today (Thursday) in Parksville for 80 year-old woman who died while walking in her neighbourhood

Neighbours have described Gwen Chisholm as popular, warm and loving

Police say a piece of equipment sticking out of a commercial truck — unbeknownst to the driver — may be responsible for a hit and run that claimed the life of an 80-year-old woman Jan. 13 in the Morningstar neighbourhood of French Creek.

According to a news release issued by Oceanside RCMP Tuesday morning, “it is believed that the driver was travelling through the area (Roberton Boulevard) at the time and did not know that there was a piece of equipment sticking out a considerable distance from the side of the truck. It is very likely that the driver did not realize that this equipment had struck the elderly female.”

Police declined to elaborate on the type of commercial vehicle or piece of equipment sticking out for fear of “vigilanteism.”

Mounties said they do not believe speed or alcohol were factors in this incident. “The driver is very upset and has been fully co-operating with police,” states the release.

Police said evidence gathered at the scene along Roberton Boulevard paired with witness accounts led investigators to a commercial truck and operator.

Friends and neighbours have identified the victim as Gwendolyn Chisholm. Many told The NEWS last week they were “devastated” about the loss, which has sparked a debate about pedestrian safety in the area.

Karen Michalek, a friend who lives nearby, described Chisholm as popular, warm and loving.

“She never had a bad word to say about anyone,” said Michalek.

A memorial service will be held today (Thursday, January 21) at

2 p.m. at Knox United Church located at 345 Pym Street in Parksville.