Teen in ‘fair condition’ after hit-and-run: hospital

Suspect in an earlier crime-related fatal hit-and-run returns to court

Jeremy Westwood, the 14-year-old victim of a hit-and-run last Tuesday that had all of Chilliwack and Lower Mainland media looking for a suspect, was reported in fair condition yesterday at BC Children’s Hospital.

A hospital spokesman said yesterday that Westwood is conscious, though uncomfortable, and “indicators are favourable.” Westwood suffered head injuries and a broken arm and leg when he was struck by a black Ford Mustang at Brooks Avenue and Elm Drive at about 3 p.m.

Chilliwack RCMP arrested a suspect less than 24 hours later at a Walters Street residence blocks away from the accident scene.

Ryan Jack Mash, 30, (not Joel Ryan Mash as mistakenly reported earlier by The Progress) is facing charges of dangerous driving causing bodily harm and failure to remain at the scene of an accident. He appeared in court Friday with lawyer Joel Whysall, who said his client consented to remain in custody until a show cause scheduled for Monday.

In a prepared statement Friday, Westwood’s parents said they “would like to thank everyone in the Chilliwack community and others for their help in identifying a suspect.”

They also asked the media to respect their privacy so they could concentrate on Jeremy’s health.

Meanwhile, Jason Combes, the 25-year-old suspect in a hit-and-run Oct. 20 that killed a 56-year-old Chilliwack man while he was trying to elude police in a stolen vehicle is scheduled to return to court Nov. 13.

The victim in that hit and run was not identified by police, at the family’s request.

The 56-year-old was killed when a stolen 2007 Ford Fusion that police believe was driven by Combes ran a stop sign at Tyson Road and South Sumas Road and crashed into a 1999 Mazda Protege at about 4 a.m.

Combes and a female passenger allegedly fled the scene of the accident. Combes was arrested the next day, but the female passenger could not be found.

RCMP Const. Lea-Anne Dunlop said yesterday that the female has turned herself in, but because she is a juvenile police cannot release her name. No charges against her are being considered at this time.

Combes is facing charges of dangerous driving causing death, failure to remain at the scene of an accident and possession of stolen property.

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