British Columbia

Anita Hauck ID'd as woman who died in clothing donation bin

"She was an advocate for those who were street-entrenched and homeless and she was a voice for that community."

Homeless advocate volunteered and spoke on behalf of those struck by poverty

Anita Hauck was a homeless advocate who recently died after she got stuck in a clothing donation bin. (Colleen Flanagan/Maple Ridge News)

A woman who died after getting trapped in a clothing donation bin in Pitt Meadows, B.C., has been identified as homeless advocate and frontline Salvation Army worker Anita Hauck.

"It's a deep loss, both to the Salvation Army as well as to the community," said Patricia Cuff, a spokesperson for the Salvation Army.

"She was an advocate for those who were street-entrenched and homeless and she was a voice for that community."

Hauck spoke on behalf of the homeless at city council meetings, advocating for better facilities for them.

Cuff said Hauck volunteered and was very involved in different capacities with the Salvation Army.

In particular, she was involved with the organization's Caring Place branch in Maple Ridge, which recently had its contract with the city cut in favour of opening a RainCity shelter in another location.

Cuff said that a few weeks ago, when there was a lot of activity in regards to the shelter and the nearby homeless camp, Hauck volunteered to speak on behalf of the group. 

"Anita will be missed," she said. "It will be a difficult voice to replace."

Trapped upside down 

Ridge Meadows RCMP and firefighters responded to a 911 call on Sunday night to the Meadowtown Centre mall. Hauck had been found upside down in a clothing donation bin.

After being found with her legs sticking out of a donation bin, CPR was immediately started on a woman who was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital in grave condition. She later died. (CBC)

A witness reported that bystanders were trying to hold her legs up as her head was caught inside and she was unresponsive.

Firefighters used the Jaws of Life to pry the bin open and free Hauck. CPR was immediately started and she was taken to Royal Columbian Hospital in grave condition.

Firefighters said because Hauck was unconscious when she was discovered, it is unclear how she got stuck in the bin. She later died of her injuries.

Earlier this year, firefighters in New Westminster used the Jaws of Life to rescue a man who was found trapped inside another donation bin.

With files from Roshini Nair


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