In an emotional plea, the wife of the cyclist who was killed Monday, Dec. 15 in a hit-and-run in Fanny Bay has appealed to the driver of the suspect vehicle to step forward.
Paul Bally, 48, a teacher at Lake Trail School in Courtenay, was struck by a southbound vehicle on Highway 19A near Curran Road. Police found him that night lying in a ditch. Bally was transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
“This is still a very big shock to us,” said Evelyn Bally, accompanied by her children while making a public statement Wednesday at the Native Sons Hall.
“Paul was a very strong man, very healthy. One thing Paul believed in is if you played by the rules, nobody got hurt. So someone was not playing by the rules, and now he’s hurt.”
Holding back tears, she continued.
“Who will teach my son to be a man? Who’s going to walk my daughter down the aisle? Who is going to help me raise my children? He was my rock. He kept us on our moral path.”
Had the driver stopped, or even called emergency, Paul “might still be here,” Evelyn surmised.
“Instead, you left him in the ditch for me to find. I don’t want that picture in my head. I don’t know how to get it out.”
Evelyn — noting Paul’s many family members in Montreal, including his parents — called for justice and asked for assistance if anyone has suspicions. “We just need closure, that’s all. And please, driver, just come forward. Let it be over.”
The vehicle in question is either a Ford F250 or F350 truck, or an Excursion-style of vehicle, manufactured between 2002 and 2004. The colour was originally identified as white but upon further examination this may not be the case. Investigators are looking for all colours of vehicles in the described categories.
Police thank individuals who have called, but so far the suspect vehicle and driver have not been located.
The case remains a priority investigation for the RCMP North Island Traffic Services and the Comox Valley RCMP. Significant police resources have been allocated to the case, going door-to-door in the area of the crash and canvassing businesses.
“Mrs. Bally has gone through extreme trauma,” Sgt. Mark Whitworth said. “She deserves some closure, and to find out who the driver of this vehicle was and why this happened. We’re asking the driver and strongly encouraging them to come forward, identify themselves to police so we can further investigate the matter. We will continue the investigation until we do discover who the driver is. It would be important for the driver, and the right thing to do, to come forward before we discover them.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Whitworth at 250-286-5646.
If they wish to remain anonymous, they can also call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477.