Tow truck driver strikes blind senior in North Van

One man is in hospital and Marine Drive is closed in the Norgate area after the driver of a tow truck struck a senior in the crosswalk at Tatlow Avenue Wednesday morning.

The collision happened around 9:45 a.m. Witnesses say the blind man was crossing Marine from the south when the tow-truck driver with a van hitched on the back turned left onto eastbound Marine from Tatlow.

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Several people nearby saw what was about to happen and tried to stop the collision, said Josh Booth, a witness who works at the adjacent Mitsubishi Motors.

“There was a lady that was sort of screaming at him to stop, a couple of cars were honking at him. Somebody jumped out of a car to stop [the driver],” he said.

It didn’t work, though, and the driver hit the victim and continued to drag him for about six metres, leaving a trail of blood on the road, Booth said.

“The guy's leg is gone but he was conscious through most of it. I think at the end, he finally passed out,” he said.

Booth said Mitsubishi staff ran out with their medical kit to offer first aid while they waited for help to arrive.

Booth said the victim is a local senior with impaired vision who walks with the help of a white cane.

“I often help him across our driveway here at Mitsubishi Motors – just to let [the senior] know it's safe. We all know him. We all talk to him. Really nice guy,” he said.

The RCMP’s Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service has been called in to investigate. Police have shut down Marine at Tatlow and diverted traffic down to 15th Street until further notice.

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