Sidewalk being installed near site of crash that killed Burnaby teen, city says


After a tragic crash that claimed the life of a 14-year-old girl in Burnaby, the city says it is moving ahead with the installation of a temporary sidewalk in the area where she died in order to address safety concerns raised by residents.

On May 5, a Grade 8 student from Byrne Creek Community School was walking home on 11th Avenue near 16th Street when she was struck and killed by a dump truck.

“Since this tragic event, we’ve heard from people who live in the neighborhood that previous efforts to improve safety have not gone far enough,” says a statement issued by the city Wednesday.

“They have told us that the high volume of construction traffic on their streets is causing significant stress to their neighbourhood, and they feel unsafe.”

The sidewalk will be installed on the south side of 11th Avenue, between 15th and 17th streets “this summer,” according to the city. An expected date for the work to be completed was not provided.

ONGOING SAFETY CONCERNS

Following the girl’s death, several residents who live nearby told CTV News that an incident like this, though tragic, is not surprising due to the steady stream of large trucks in the area.

Burnaby RCMP have said they are aware of ongoing safety concerns in the area and have received nearly a dozen complaints this year.

Last November, an 18-year-old girl was also clipped by a truck.

That close call prompted police to investigate traffic concerns in the neighborhood, and hold discussions with stakeholders and the city, Cpl. Brett Cunningham previously told CTV News.

He said officers held three enforcement campaigns within a three-block radius of the deadly incident this year.

During that time, 110 commercial vehicles were inspected and 68 of them were taken off the road. Officers also handed out 138 violation tickets for various issues such as defective motor vehicle, insecure cargo, distracted driving or log book deficiencies.

POLICE INVESTIGATION ONGOING

“The incident is being thoroughly investigated by RMCP to determine the cause. If the results of the investigation show the City could have done something different to prevent this tragedy, we will make all necessary changes immediately,” Wednesday’s statement from the city said.

Ledingham McAllister and Marcon Construction has issued several statements in the wake of the incident near their construction site

The company has raised the possibility that the teen was started by a dog and ran into the road, saying there is no way the driver could have seen the girl. This is something witnesses also reported and which the Mounties have said they are investigating.

The RCMP have not determined what causes the fatal crash, but have ruled out speed and impairment.

“Police are aware that a dog had been nearby at the time of the collision. Investigators are still analyzing all statements and information, however, there is no indication the dog was behaving dangerously or had previously been the subject of any complaints to police,” said a statement from police Monday.

“We know the community is looking for answers as to what caused this tragic collision. We are asking people not to jump to conclusions as our officers continue to gather necessary evidence,” it continued.


With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Angela Jung and Kendra Mangione


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