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Police searching for semi driver after woman killed in crash north of Edmonton

A 60-year-old woman is dead after a crash near Hondo, Alta., on Sunday.

Police closed Highway 44 around 6 p.m. while they investigated the crash in the area of Highway 2 and Township Road 684.

A spokesperson for Alberta RCMP said details about what they're calling a single-vehicle crash aren't being released, but confirmed that police are also looking for a red semi truck pulling a flatbed loaded with industrial equipment that was in the area at the time.

"We're really just trying to get in touch with the driver of the vehicle to get more information with regards to what he could have seen during this event," Cpl. Matthew Howell told CTV News Edmonton on Tuesday.

Howell also confirmed that there were other people in the vehicle with the woman, but no other injuries were reported.

Family have identified the victim as Jill Didzena, a mother of seven who was on her way home to Bushe River in northern Alberta.

Didzena's daughter, Nichole, told CTV News Edmonton her mom, a social worker and activist, was returning from a justice forum at Saint Paul University on Sunday.

Jill Didzena, who died in a crash in Alberta on Oct. 1, 2023, at 60 years old, is seen in this undated photo. (Provided by family.)

Nichole said her younger sister was in the vehicle at the time of the crash and saw two pipes fall off a semi trailer and bounce on the road.

"My mom had swerved to save her. My little sister believes she died on impact," Nichole told CTV News Edmonton in an interview on Tuesday.

"My mother deeply loved her children so it was no surprise to me that she had swerved to save my little sister's life."

Investigators are asking anyone with information or dashcam video to contact Slave Lake RCMP at 780-849-3999 or submit information anonymously to Crime Stoppers or www.P3Tips.com.

The family has already been contacted by one driver who has dashcam footage of what appears to be a semi hauling pipe in the area around the time of the crash.

Nichole hopes the video, and any other tips that come in, lead to answers for the family.

"That load wasn't secured. Something happened there," Nichole said.

She described her mom as a matriarch who loved to be outside and celebrated her culture.

"She loved her culture and she loved her community. She was very kind and loving. She also did a lot of activism work and she did a lot of work within the community."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's David Ewasuk and Brandon Lynch 

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