Family members, friends, and supporters of Justin Mirasty walked from the Wahpeton turnoff to the Prince Albert Provincial Court on Saturday calling for justice.
The 31-year-old was struck on Highway 2 near the Wahpeton turnoff, just over two years ago on Sept. 28, 2021. An orange SUV was reported to have fled the scene.
Family members were happy that nearly 20 people turned up for the walk and also supported it through other methods.
“I’m glad so many showed up (and) so many people care,” said David Mirasty, Justin’s father.
“We got a lot of responses on the highway.”
David walked with a ‘Justice for Justin’ sign on his back. That phrase was displayed on multiple signs held by walkers during the trip.
Participants ended their walk at the Provincial Court House in Prince Albert. Afterwards, those in attendance shared a meal of soup and bannock.
Cree Mirasty, Justin’s sister, said they didn’t want Justin to be forgotten.
“We just wanted to see that another native person homicide wouldn’t be ignored, because Justin was
really loved,” Cree said through tears.
“It just it broke a lot of hearts.”
Cree said they received strong levels of support on social media platforms like Facebook, where many of Justin’s friends called for justice.
The driver of the SUV has not been found after fleeing the scene. David said they not only want justice for Justin, they want closure too.
“I get up every day and the first thing I think of is him.” David said.
“We need closure. It’s not fair, you know.” Cree said.
RCMP reported that shortly before 9:00 p.m. September 28, 2021, a fatal collision involving a pedestrian was reported to Prince Albert RCMP. Buckland Fire and EMS were also present at the scene when RCMP arrived. The first involved vehicle, reported to police as an orange SUV, departed the scene prior to police arrival. A second involved car stopped and remained on scene.
David said that Justin was a great person.
“He was such a good kid, he never gave us any trouble growing up,” David said.
“No criminal record,” Cree said.
“Just a good kid,” David added.
The family also remembered Justin for his love of music and his great ability as a musician.
“He was a guitarist (and) he was a musician,” Cree said. “He taught himself how to read music and he could play any song he heard you know.
“He wrote a lot of his own music too,” she added.
Taylor Mirasty, Justin’s other sister, said the walk was a great starting point as the family seeks some closure and justice.
“It’s a start. I feel like there’s probably a couple more things down the line that we could figure out to do but it’s not just for Justin, it’s for everyone. It’s a constant message that we’re always saying out loud: everyone matters. Our stories matter. We have to keep putting them out there for people and everyone just needs to understand that we still matter as people. We can’t just be pushed aside like that. Our stories, our judgment for the people that injure us. They just can’t be just pushed aside, you know.”
The family is affected by Justin’s death to this day, with David and his two daughters both still dealing with mental health issues because of it.
“The death of Justin has caused me and Taylor significant amount of depression to the point where I couldn’t go to school anymore, to the point where Taylor lost her job,” Cree said
“It’s still there,” David said. “It’s a constant battle, and it’s uphill battle…. He was a great kid. We all loved him.”