A vehicle-pedestrian collision claimed the lives of two well-known seniors in Fredericton Saturday.
Ninety-year-old Laurie Menzies and 87-year-old Lawrence Swazey were struck by a vehicle as they left the Delta Hotel around 10:30 p.m.
Menzies was known for ‘Menzie’s and Sons’ medical supply store, which has been in business for over 90 years. Swayze is remembered as the former manager of the Dominion store.
Both men were in attendance at the annual Sports Wall of Fame dinner. Following the event, the pair of friends were crossing Woodstock Road when they were struck. Police tell Global News the men were not using the crosswalk.
READ MORE: Two seniors dead following vehicle-pedestrian collision in Fredericton
Mayor Brad Woodside was at the dinner and spoke with both men at the event.
“It was such a wonderful evening and it was so celebratory. I had just talked to them on the way out and they are both dear friends and I’ve know them for a long time. I would expect 15 minutes after that they were probably involved in that accident,” said Woodside.
“It was heartbreaking. It was just absolutely heartbreaking,” continued Woodside.
Police say Menzies died at the scene, while Swazey was transported to the Dr. Everett Chalmers Hospital. He was later taken to Saint John Regional Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, Sunday. Police say there were two people in the vehicle. Neither people in the car suffered any physical injuries.
Deputy Police Chief Martin Gaudet says the investigation is still ongoing, but the Fredericton Police Force doesn’t believe speed or alcohol were factors in the collision.
“Impaired driving, we can rule that out. And speeding was pretty much ruled out at the collision reconstruction with their efforts and their calculations, but the matter is still under investigation. So we’ll see where the rest of the investigation takes us,” said Gaudet.
Woodside says it was a dark evening.
“It was one of those nights that all of us experience where it’s hard to see,” said Woodside.
Capital Winter Club volunteer Don Gemmell first met Menzies when he joined the Capital Winter Club in 1974, when the latter was president.
He says both Menzies and Swazey spent Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the curling club playing cards with a group of people.
“We played for big money like dimes,” he said jokingly. “It was just a fun-loving bunch and they were right in the middle of it all.
“It’s going to be a great loss. To the club and to the city cause they’re both of them involved in sports and everything.”
Gemmell says the pair would stop in and see him when he was working.
“It didn’t surprise me they were together at the Sports Wall of Fame dinner because they usually went together and they never missed one,” said Gemmell.
He says Menzies was always friendly and always had a smile on his face, while Swazey was the same but had a new joke every time he stopped in.
“This is a very sad sad day for the people of Fredericton. Anybody that would have known them would be really hurting because of this very tragic loss,” said Woodside.
Woodside says both men will be remembered for their work and dedication to the community.
“Let that be a marker for other people: be nice, be good to your community. The more you give, the more you get back, and those guys would have gotten a lot back in spades,”said Woodside.