Man dead after bus crash near Canada Place
A tour bus outside Canada Place hit at least three pedestrians on August 13, 2017. (Postmedia Network)
A man died and two people were injured after a horrific accident in Vancouver’s busiest tourist district Sunday morning.
A charter tour bus loaded with passengers hit three people on Canada Place Way, between the Convention Centre and Canada Place.
Three people were transported to hospital, including two people with life-threatening injuries, Vancouver police said.
One of those people, a 49-year-old man, has died, police said Sunday afternoon. A 15-year-old girl sustained minor injuries, while an older man remains in hospital with serious injuries. Police said all three were tourists.
According to one eyewitness, the bus — a tourist shuttle headed for the Capilano Suspension Bridge — seemed to have just pulled away at low speed from the curb when the pedestrians were suddenly on the street, next to a SUV, which was parked a short distance in front of the bus.
The bus driver slammed on the brakes but couldn't avoid hitting them. A number of bystanders rushed to help the people hit by the bus.
“When I heard the crash, I went in to see,” Mushfiqur Rahman said. At least two people were pinned under the bus; one was unconscious, the other was groaning.
“I saw the face of the (bus) driver, he was in pain,” he said. “Emotional pain.”
The bus slammed into the silver Ford SUV, which had its trunk door open as it appears it was being loaded with luggage.
Some luggage could be seen on the ground amid the wreckage. A person’s shoe and another person's sandal was visible next to the wheel of the bus.
The SUV's raised trunk door was stuck in the front window of the bus on the driver's side. The window was partly shattered as a result.
Emergency services arrived on scene quickly, Rahman said.
Firefighters and paramedics worked to raise the bus while the driver and passengers remained aboard.
Ryan McKinnon, who is visiting from Elkford, said he didn’t see the incident but did arrive shortly after, as the bus was being hoisted off at least two people, an older man and a young girl.
“It took them about 20 minutes,” he said.
Paramedics and firefighters were seen giving a man CPR before he was rushed to hospital.
Vancouver police spokesman Sgt. Jason Robillard wouldn't comment on what the people hit were doing in the street, whether some were jaywalking,
“There's obviously a lot of pedestrian traffic in that area at this time, lot of tourists...it's a tragedy with respect to the deceased and others injured.”
“The investigation will be quite complex. Our collision investigation unit will be looking at everything,” he said, including looking at video evidence, photographs and a mechanical inspection of the bus.
“It does take quite some time for the facts to come out in the investigation.”
The bus was a VTC Coach, operated by the Vancouver Trolley Company.
In a statement posted to the company's Facebook page, general manager Stuart Coventry said “it’s with deep regret we confirm that one of our tourist buses was involved in a tragic accident in Vancouver this morning. We are shocked and saddened and our focus right now is on the people who were injured and the families of those injured and deceased.”
“It is far too soon to speculate on what has happened, and we will co-operate fully with the Vancouver Police Department Collision Investigation Unit in their investigation.”
Coventry said the company would share more information as early as midday on Monday.
In an emailed statement, an official of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure declined to provide details on the company’s safety record, but said the Commercial Vehicle Safety Enforcement branch is working with Vancouver police, who are leading the investigation.
“Our thoughts are with those affected by this incident in Vancouver, and their families,” the statement said. "No more details can be provided at this time as this is an ongoing investigation.”
Vancouver police are asking for witnesses to call the collision investigation unit at 604-506-2024. The victim services unit is also available to witnesses, if needed.
— with a file from Cheryl Chan