British Columbia

Police seek tips to reconstruct final hours of woman killed in suspicious crash

Investigators say car crash victim Nicole Porciello had injuries indicative of foul play.

Investigators say car crash victim Nicole Porciello had injuries indicative of foul play

Nicole Porciello was an employee at Templeton Secondary School, where grief counsellors are on hand to help students and co-workers cope with her death. (Facebook)

Police investigating the suspicious death of a Vancouver special education teaching assistant are asking the public for help in piecing together events that led up to her death.

Nicole Porciello, who also used the surname, Hasselmann, according to IHIT, was ejected from a car that crashed into a light pole on Barnet Highway near Texaco Drive around 10 p.m. PT Friday.

Investigators say Porciello had injuries indicative of foul play and later died in hospital.

IHIT says Porciello had injuries indicative of foul play and died in hospital after the Kia Sorrento SUV she was riding in crashed into a light pole. (CBC)

A 34-year-old man survived the crash and is expected to make a full recovery. Police have said they believe Porciello and the man — whose name has not been released — knew each other.

Investigators want to speak with anyone who saw Porciello or the grey Kia Sorento SUV she was riding in at three locations: 

  • 7000-block of Ridgeview Drive, Burnaby.
  • 200-block of College Park Way, Port Moody.
  • 8000-block of Barnet Highway, Burnaby.

"The development of the victim's timeline is important in any homicide investigation and it is proving to be crucial in this case," said IHIT spokesman Cpl. Frank Jang.

Anyone with information about what happened is asked to call the IHIT Information Line at 1-877-551-4448 or email ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.  

Those wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Investigators want to speak with anyone who saw Porciello or the grey Kia Sorento SUV she was riding in at these three locations. (CBC)

Survived by her son

Friends and family have confirmed Porciello was a student support worker at Templeton Secondary School in Vancouver.

"She left behind a son and my heart breaks for him and all of her family and friends," former schoolmate Amberlie Stade told CBC.

The crash occurred around 10 p.m. PT Friday on the Barnet Highway near Texaco Drive. (CBC)

On social media, friends and family sent dozens of messages of condolence to Porciello's family.

In many of Porciello's selfies, she is seen smiling and hugging her 10-year-old son, who friends say she had an "all-encompassing" love for.

The Vancouver School Board said counsellors from the district's critical incident team were sent to Templeton to help students and staff with grief.

Staff described her as "extraordinary" and part of a tight-knit family in the special education classroom.

They told CBC it's been very difficult to describe to some of the students what has happened.

"It was great sadness that we learned of the death of one of our student support workers.... [We wish] to extend our support and condolences to the family. We ask that that the privacy of the family, our staff and students be respected at this time," spokesperson Patricia MacNeil said.

Nicole Porciello also goes by the surname Hasselmann, according to IHIT. (Facebook)

About the Author

Yvette Brend is a CBC Vancouver journalist. Yvette.Brend@CBC.ca @ybrend