Journalist seriously injured after being struck by vehicle

CTV News Kitchener reporter Stephanie Villella was covering an earlier crash in Puslinch when she was hit

PUSLINCH – A local journalist remains in critical condition after being struck by a vehicle while reporting from a crash scene here on Wednesday.

CTV News Kitchener reporter Stephanie Villella was at the intersection of Brock Road North (Wellington Road 46) and Maltby Road when she was hit by a sedan, CTV reported.

A Wellington County OPP press release stated only that “a pedestrian” was struck at about noon on March 1.

CTV identified the victim as Villella, a reporter with the TV news station for more than five years, who had been covering a serious crash that occurred earlier in the morning about a kilometre southeast of the intersection, near Fox Run Drive.

According to CTV, witnesses say the driver of the car that hit Villella “appeared elderly” and the reporter “was within the road closure area when the car came through, striking her.”

Villella was transported to a trauma centre by ambulance with what police are describing as “serious and potentially life-threatening injuries.”

OPP media relations officer Joshua Cunningham told the Advertiser on Thursday the investigation into exactly what happened is ongoing.

Cunningham did say Villella was by a barricade at the intersection when she was struck by a sedan. The vehicle came to a stop within a portion of the roadway closed because of the earlier collision.

The driver stayed at the scene, and police are crossing witness statements with their investigation, which will determine next steps.

As of March 3, no charges have been laid, but the possibility remains pending the outcome of the investigation, and if Villella survives life-threatening injuries.

According to Cunningham, she remains in intensive care.

CTV Kitchener news director Daniel Cress stated in an email, The outpouring of well wishes has been incredible, and it’s heartening to know Stephanie, her family, and the team here have so much support.”

A Bell Media spokesperson wrote in an email, “Our thoughts remain with … Stephanie Villella following yesterday’s accident.”

The spokesperson did not directly respond to specific, itemized questions from the Advertiser, citing an ongoing investigation.

However, the spokesperson stated: “We also offer our continued support to Stephanie’s family and colleagues at CTV News Kitchener.”

Cunningham said more information will be released by police following their investigation.

Original crash

Villella was working near the scene of a collision between a tractor trailer and a sedan that occurred at about 10:30am.

Police say the driver of the sedan was transported by air ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.