Criminal charges not recommended in party bus death of Langley woman
23-year-old Chelsea James fell out of the party bus to her death when the pneumatic passenger door failed
Vancouver police are not recommending criminal charges in connection with a party bus accident in January that left a 23-year-old Langley woman dead.
Chelsea James was one of 28 people on the bus when she stumbled against the pneumatic passenger door as the vehicle turned left off Hastings Street onto Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver.
The door opened, and James fell out of the vehicle onto the pavement where she was run over. Emergency crews tried to revive her, but she was pronounced dead at the scene.
Vancouver Police spokesman Const. Brian Montague said air pressure and latches should have kept the door closed but there was a mechanical failure.
"The door was not functioning properly and was easily opened by simply pushing on it," said Montague.
Montague said the driver and operator, Silver Lady Limousine Service Ltd., are facing civil actions along with some "pretty minor" motor vehicle offences, including allowing alcohol on board and not having proper passenger restraints.
"After consultation with Crown and our legal experts, we've determined there's no offence in the Criminal Code that would allow us to proceed criminally," said Montague.
'She did nothing wrong'
Chelsea's mother Shelly James said there should be regulations on the private transport industry so that authorities can hold operators responsible for rider safety.
"We hope that through her death we can make it safe for other people who ride on this transportation. No other family should go through what we are going through," she said.
James said that she understands why police are unable to pursue criminal charges, but she's struggling to accept that no one will be held responsible for her daughter's death.
"She did nothing wrong. It breaks my heart that they're not criminally responsible for this," she said.