CHATHAM – Loved ones are breaking their silence two months after a still-unsolved hit-and-run crash that killed a 41-year-old man, remembering him for his love of sports and family.
Wednesday, Ontario Provincial Police identified the person who was found dead along Highway 40 on September 19 as Matthew Hewer – a Chatham native whose death remains under investigation, but has been publicly classified as a failure-to-remain crash.
“Matt always had time for his family and friends. Loved his nieces, and great nieces and great nephew,” his longtime neighbour, Tim Haskell, told The Chatham Daily News on Wednesday.
Haskell said Hewer loved art, including painting pictures and making birdhouses, and that he also enjoyed astronomy.
As fellow Toronto Maple Leafs fans, they always had something to talk about, he added.
“I’m definitely going to miss our conversations about sports and our beloved Maple Leafs,” Haskell said. “As well as chasing storms with me and my daughter, Amanda.”
Hewer played on many different hockey teams as a youth and was also into fishing, water sports and boating. He attended St. Clair College Windsor, where he took an educational teaching assistant course.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have seen a northbound white hatchback passenger vehicle or an individual walking in the area between 5:30 am and 6:30 am on the day the body was found to contact them.
Early on in the investigation, OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk encouraged anyone with information or who may have been in the area to come forward to help police.
“You may have a piece of this puzzle that we are looking for,” he said. “So please pick up that phone and contact investigators.”
Anyone with information can contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority.
In a statement, the Hewer family, who didn’t wish to comment on the ongoing investigation, thanked provincial police for “their care and support,” in particular Const. Eric Van Kesteren.
“Thanks to all our family and friends, especially our neighborhood. We have the best neighbors for being here for us during this difficult time,” read the statement, attributed to Hewer’s parents, Jeanette and Wayne. “We will always be appreciative for everyone’s support.”
All are welcome to attend a celebration of Hewer’s life this Saturday from noon to 3 pm at the KBD Club in Chatham.
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