EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick – Local police have seized the vehicle thought to have killed a Portland nurse over the weekend in a hit-and-run accident.
Police on Sunday seized a 1999 Pontiac Sunbird from a Saint John residence and returned it to Edmundston for a forensic inspection. Saint John is 375 miles southeast of Edmundston.
Connie Bellefleur, 23, a pediatric nurse at Maine Medical Center and a Madawaska native, died Saturday afternoon at a local hospital. She was struck by a vehicle at about 2 a.m. Saturday while walking through a crosswalk on St. Francis Street, a couple hundred feet from the international port of entry to Madawaska.
Bellefleur had been in Madawaska visiting her parents, Robert and Nicole Bellefleur, on their wedding anniversary and was attending an Edmundston festival.
The Edmundston Police Department has assigned a six-person team to investigate the incident. Inspector Prime Boucher of the Edmundston Police Department said police have spoken with the owner of the vehicle, whom he would not identify, but no arrests have been made.
“We have not yet identified the driver of the vehicle,” the inspector said in French. “No one has been charged, but we have spoken to many individuals.”
Boucher would not reveal the names of the suspect or suspects in the incident. “We are looking at specific individuals in this case,” he said. “We have several investigators working on this.”
The investigator said the only eyewitnesses to the incident are a sister of the dead woman, Kristy Bellefleur, and her boyfriend. They are looking for others, and they hope witnesses will come forward.
Connie Bellefleur was struck while she was crossing St. Francis Street at a crosswalk, near the intersection of Court Street, at about 2 a.m. EDT. She was walking ahead of friends, which included her sister Kristy Bellefleur.
According to the police report, the vehicle did not stop; instead, it accelerated away from the scene, west on St. Francis Street.
Madawaska residents remember the young woman as a ski athlete at Madawaska High School in the mid- to late 1990s. She graduated from Madawaska High School in 1997 and from the registered nurse program at St. Joseph’s College in 2001.
Bellefleur had been a nurse in Portland for slightly more than one year.
The young woman was pronounced dead Saturday afternoon at the Edmundston Regional Hospital. She was taken later to a Quebec City hospital for organ donation.
The incident happened at the height of a four-day festival in Edmundston. The “party du parking,” an evening of dancing with live music in a multilevel parking garage was the big Foire Brayonne festival activity Friday night.
Bellefleur’s funeral will be held at 10 this morning at the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church in Madawaska.