THORSBY, Alta. — Family of a gas station owner killed in an apparent “gas and dash” in a small Alberta town says he often slept in his office so he could open and close the business each day since he didn’t have enough money to hire staff.
Ki Yun Jo, 54, was killed Friday afternoon at the Fas Gas in Thorsby, southwest of Edmonton.
RCMP believe a driver of a stolen truck was speeding away from the gas station, without paying for fuel, when Jo died.
A witness said he saw a large white cube van driving with a man hanging onto the passenger side mirror.
The witness said the van swerved, tossing the man to the ground before running over him.
Sung Hyun Jo says his father basically gave up his life to provide for his wife and two children.
He urged the driver to turn himself into police.
“You just killed a guy who worked really hard for his family, and our family just lost everything,” he said. “He was working alone all by himself at the store for over 12 years. And then this happened.
“My dad was everything for us.”
On a GoFundMe page for the family, Jo described how his father appreciated local customers and sometimes let regulars who were short on cash pay for their gas and cigarettes later. But he wasn’t always so trusting. Over the past two years, the station had been hit many times by outsiders driving off without paying, Jo said.
“It was really frustrating for him to watch every car when it’s fueling and making sure the person comes inside.”
Jo said the truck that ran over his father made off with gas worth $196.56.
“It is such a tragedy that it should not have not happened to a hard-working man who was trying to do everything to survive,” he wrote.
“We miss you and love you so much, Dad.”
In August, a man was sentenced to 11 years in prison for manslaughter for a gas-and-dash that killed Calgary gas-station worker Maryam Rashidi.
The 35-year-old woman was run over by Joshua Cody Mitchell when she tried to stop him from taking off without paying for $113 worth of fuel.
Rashidi and her husband had come to Canada from Iran in 2014. She had been working at the Centex gas station for just two weeks after being laid off from her engineering job during Calgary’s economic downturn.
— With files from CTV Edmonton
The Canadian Press