An SUV struck and killed an Oak Bay public works employee on Monterey Avenue Wednesday morning.
The 52-year-old man was looking inside a manhole on the west sidewalk of Monterey Avenue when he was struck, said Oak Bay Police Chief Const. Mark Fisher.
The victim was identified on a GoFundMe page as Steve Seekins.
Police said they responded to the call shortly after 8 a.m. in the 1700 block of Monterey.
The black SUV, driven by a 66-year-old Victoria woman, was heading northbound when it crossed into the southbound lane before jumping the sidewalk and striking the man.
The father of two young children was thrown into a small park and pronounced dead at the scene, Fisher said.
The SUV driver was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing with assistance from Saanich police.
Fisher said police received reports of erratic driving in the area prior to the crash and asked that anyone who witnessed erratic driving or the crash or who has video of either to contact police at email@example.com.
Fisher said the crash is disturbing and “on the face of it seems very senseless.”
Monterey between Cranmore Street and Oak Bay Avenue was closed for several hours.
Neighbour Jim Harker said he heard a “really loud thud” around 8:10 a.m. and rushed toward the noise as he saw four or five firefighters come out of the Oak Bay Fire Hall just across the street.
“I could hear the workers screaming for help,” Harker said.
A retired Kamloops firefighter, Harker helped to direct traffic as firefighters worked on someone on the ground.
“I could see that something horrific had happened,” he said.
Harker saw firefighters trying to remove a female driver whose car had crashed into a tree; the car had a smashed windshield and was crumpled at the front.
The driver was moving and didn’t appear seriously injured, he said.
Monterey Avenue is a main route to schools and busy with traffic, Harker said.
Flags at Oak Bay Municipal Hall were lowered to half mast Wednesday, said Mayor Kevin Murdoch. The municipality is offering counselling services to support affected employees, he said. “It’s really hit a large number of our staff very, very hard.”
The municipal hall will remain open and Murdoch asked for patience from residents visiting the hall, as many staff are grieving.
It’s too early to say whether the death highlights a need for greater protection for public works employees, he said.
An Oak Bay employee has created an online fundraiser (bit.ly/3MhKHzO) to support the man’s family. About $11,500 had been raised toward the $75,000 goal by Wednesday evening.
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