Friend of dead teen shares chilling voicemail message

Early Sunday morning, Joneil Hanna‘s best friend received a call he says he will never forget.

Phone records show the call from Hanna‘s cell phone was made to Kavanaugh‘s phone at 3:23 a.m. Kavanaugh was asleep and missed the call, but after listening to the voice message, Kavanaugh knew his best friend was in trouble. 

“I just got sick to my stomach,” Kavanaugh said. “You don‘t really expect to get a message like that on voicemail.”

The voicemail message recorded Hanna’s friends trying to help him after he was injured.

“Joneil, Joneil it‘s me. You killed him,” the voicemail begins.

“Joneil … speak to me Joneil, speak to me Joneil. Joneil bro. Put him in the car, come on. We can‘t lift him, we can‘t lift him! Yes we can.”

These dramatic moments were recorded on Kavanaugh‘s voicemail because Joneil Hanna never had a chance to hang up the phone.

Fourteen minutes after that call was made police say they responded to a report of a man on Highway 223 in Leitches Creek, N.S.

The 17-year-old Hanna had been struck by a vehicle and died at the scene. His mother heard the recording for the first time Tuesday night and played it for CTV News Wednesday.

“It breaks my heart all over again,” said Jennifer Hanna.

She says she is upset nobody has been held accountable for her son‘s death.

Cape Breton Regional Police confirmed the driver did attend a graduation party that night.

Josh Barrie was also there with his girlfriend.

“I was up by the white tent in Leitches Creek at the prom party and saw the driver go by with liquor in his hand following his girlfriend,” Barrie said.

But police say their evidence shows the driver of the vehicle was not impaired at the time of Joneil Hanna‘s death.

Police say the driver remained at the scene until police arrived. They say he was not given a breathalyzer, but was questioned later that day.

Police officers that dealt with it made their observation and it‘s their observations that are important at that time,” said Staff Sgt. Bill Turner of the Cape Breton Regional Police. “People can consume alcohol and not be impaired. The officers that did speak with him at the scene of the accident determined there was no need to read him the breathalyzer demand.”

Police do believe Joneil Hanna was on the road when he was hit, but they‘re not sure where he was. So far no one has been charged.

“I think they‘re doing all they can, but I also think there‘s something they‘re not doing,” said Jennifer Hanna. “Something they‘re hiding.”

She says her focus now was on her son‘s wake Wednesday and his funeral Thursday. But says she won‘t stop until her questions have been answered.

Nova Scotia Justice Minister Mark Furey was asked about the police investigation and said he has confidence in their investigation.

“They were very aware of the circumstances that evening – the social event, the party. They provided close monitoring, literally roadside, they didn’t go onto the private property but in close proximity to the property, interacting with the youth and others who were there,” Furey said.

“The incident you referenced happened a distance away from that home and the police have drawn on all of their available resources to ensure that the investigation is exhaustive and confident in the conclusions that they will come to.”

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kyle Moore and Laura Brown.