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No charges in death of West Vancouver senior struck by truck driver

After a lengthy investigation, police say there was no evidence to support charges
West Vancouver Police and RCMP ICARS investigators survey the scene of a fatal collision involving a flatbed truck driver and a senior on Third Street in West Vancouver, Feb. 28, 2023. | Contributed

There will be no charges in the death of a West Vancouver senior who was struck and killed by commercial truck driver during a February 2023 snowstorm.

The incident happened during the morning of Feb. 28 on the 800 block of Third Street in the Cedardale neighbourhood of West Vancouver. At the time, the North Shore was under heavy snowfall.

The driver was delivering paving stones to a home on the street when he put the truck into reverse to better position the flat deck trailer for unloading, according to Sgt. Mark McLean, West Vancouver police spokesperson. As that was happening, 83-year-old Third Street resident Thomas Sullivan was pushing his snowblower across the street on his way to clear the snow from a neighbour’s driveway.

Sullivan’s wife saw the driver backing up and called out to him but the driver did not hear, McLean said, and Sullivan was knocked down under the trailer’s rear tires. He died at the scene.

The Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service shut down the street and conducted a lengthy investigation, which has now concluded with no recommendation for charges, McLean said.

“The driver told us at the time that he couldn’t see his mirrors, partially due to the conditions but also just the size of the truck and the significant blind spot behind it,” he said. “The witness statements from the victim’s family as well as from the driver also indicated neither [believed] there was any nefarious intent or neglect.”

The investigation was overseen by an experienced West Van police traffic officer who consulted with ICARS and Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement to see if the actions of the driver merited any Criminal Code of Canada or Motor Vehicle Act charges, McLean said.

“They determined that the elements of those offences just weren’t met to any standard,” McLean said. “It looks like it’s just really bad timing and really tragic circumstances and events that led to him being struck.”

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