Trudie MacKinlay was 'like a grandmother' to her neighbours

Eric McCarthy
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MacKinlay died Monday when she was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street

A female pedestrian was taken to hospital Monday morning following a collision in front of Alberton Elementary School. The woman was crossing Church Street between the Jacques Cartier Arena parking lot and the school around 9 a.m. when she was struck by an eastbound car. Police, fire and EMS personnel were on the scene almost immediately. The extent of the woman’s injuries could not be confirmed as investigators are still on the scene. Traffic is being routed through the arena’s parking lot around the accident scene while the investigation continues.

ALBERTON – Elaine Waite recalls how her neighbour, Trudie McKinlay, would drop in and take her daughters for ice cream and other outings. The girls even accompanied her to swimming and aerobics. Sometimes she’d bring over the ice cream and toppings and make sundaes with the Waite family.

“She was a fantastic person.”

On Sunday, she invited Elaine and Paul Waite and their twin daughters over for supper. They spent the evening with her, watching a Christmas movie.

“She was like a grandmother to our two daughters,” Waite reflected Wednesday, two days after McKinlay was killed in a car-pedestrian collision.

RELATED: Woman dies after being struck crossing street to Alberton school

Less than 12 hours after saying goodnight to her neighbours, around 9 a.m. Monday morning, McKinlay was struck by a car as she walked across Church Street to Alberton Elementary School where she sometimes filled in as a substitute teacher. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

The collision is still being investigated.

Funeral arrangements are being made at Rooney’s Funeral Home in Alberton.

“It’s such a tragedy to happen,” said Waite.

Trudie and Iain McKinley moved to Cascumpec from Saskatchewan seven years ago. She was soon in demand as a substitute teacher and a tutor at West Prince schools.

Waite said she filled in often at M.E. Callaghan Intermediate School and also did a considerable amount of substituting at Hernewood and Westisle. She said her girls admired her as a substitute teacher, a tutor and as a neighbour.

The McKinlays had operated a dog kennel in Saskatchewan. Waite said she recalls Iain and Trudie explaining that before they retired they had contemplated moving east, to either Cape Breton Island or Prince Edward Island.

“This is where they wanted to stay once they came.”

It will be two years in January since Trudie’s husband passed away.

She has two daughters and a grandson in Saskatchewan. She had made plans to leave Nov. 22 for a six-week visit with them. The Waites were going to drive her to the airport and pick her up in January.

“She was one fantastic lady. She was ‘family’ here,” added Elaine.

Organizations: Alberton Elementary School, M.E. Callaghan Intermediate School

Geographic location: ALBERTON, Saskatchewan, Church Street Cascumpec West Prince Cape Breton Island Prince Edward Island

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