A newspaper carrier was still unconscious Sunday after a speeding car struck him in a quiet Kelowna neighbourhood.
Steve Kania was awaiting surgery to repair multiple fractures in his lower back after an air ambulance flew him to Vancouver early Saturday. His brain is swelling and doctors at Vancouver General Hospital have sedated him until the swelling subsides, a relative said.
Kania, 43, was delivering papers for the Capital News in Rutland when a car struck him about 12:30 a.m. on Friday. A man failed to stop his car at an RCMP roadblock nearby, prompting officers to pursue him.
Kania was wearing a reflective vest as he pulled a wagon along his paper route, as he's done for more than five years. The car ran into him in the area of Dundee and Dundas roads. His wagon and a fire hydrant were also damaged.
His aunt, Jenny Kania visited him on Friday night at Kelowna General Hospital after a surgeon had repaired his fractured left leg. He also has three broken ribs.
"He's a very warm and friendly man. He's easy to talk to - very hard-working and determined. If he's going to get through this, it's because of that. People are praying for him," she said.
Police arrested the driver and a woman in the car. Officers suspect he was impaired. Because someone was injured in a police pursuit, the province's Independent Investigations Office is interviewing witnesses and those involved.
Kania, unmarried with no children, often made his deliveries - 206 papers in all - late at night. Residents have got to know him and like him, his aunt said. It's "mind boggling" that he'd be vulnerable on such a quiet residential street, she said.
"The people who drank and drove, and broke the law - they're in the wrong," she said. "He didn't do anything wrong. He's doing his job and does it well.
"They ran a road block. They shouldn't have done that."
Kania's brother is believed to be on his way to Vancouver to be with him. Assuming the surgery goes well, he'll likely return to KGH for his recovery because his family is here, she said.