British Columbia

29-year-old man arrested after downtown Vancouver crash that killed toddler

Vancouver police say a 29-year-old man has been arrested after a two-car crash Tuesday evening that killed a toddler and injured her father. 

Child's 31-year-old father was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, police say

Police say a black Ford Escape collided with a black McLaren just after 6 p.m. Tuesday evening at the intersection of Smithe and Hornby streets. (James Mulleder/CBC News)

Vancouver police have arrested a 29-year-old man after a two-car crash Tuesday evening that killed a toddler being carried by her father. 

Police say a black Ford Escape collided with a black McLaren sports car just after 6 p.m. PT at the intersection of Smithe and Hornby streets. 

One of the vehicles mounted the sidewalk and struck a 31-year-old man who was carrying his 23-month-old daughter.

Police said the child died instantly at the scene. The father was taken to hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.

"This is an absolute tragedy," Const. Tania Visintin said in a written statement. "Our most heart-felt condolences go out to the parents and family of this little girl."

Police don't believe alcohol or drugs were factors in the crash. (James Mulleder/CBC News)

Police initially identified the child as having been 11 months old. CBC News later confirmed with the child's mother that the toddler was 23 months old.

At a news conference Wednesday, Visintin said drivers of both vehicles stayed on scene. She said officers arrested the driver of the Ford Escape based on preliminary evidence. 

Police have yet to confirm the cause of the crash, but it's not believed that alcohol or drugs were factors, Visintin said. 

Officers continue to investigate and had not recommended charges as of Wednesday afternoon. 

"We have a lot of detectives on this, and a lot of video review and witness review," Visintin said. 

"In order to present the full package to Crown, that will take some time." 

'I don't even have words'

The father remained in hospital as of Wednesday. Visintin offered brief remarks about the child's mother. 

"I don't even have words or adjectives on what she must be going through. I can't even begin to imagine all the weight that has been put on her shoulders right now," the officer said. 

"This man and woman are mourning the death of their child. We need to give them the time and respect for that."

The crash was the second incident this week involving the death of a young child. RCMP on Monday discovered the body of a five-year-old inside a home in Surrey, B.C., that had allegedly been set on fire. 

Visintin said cases involving children are difficult for officers and noted the Vancouver Police Department has supports in place. 

"When it comes to dealing with little innocent kids, it's probably the ultimate worst," she said.

Police are asking for any witnesses or anyone with dashcam footage from the scene of the crash on Tuesday to call VPD's collision investigative unit. 

Corrections

  • An earlier version of this story, citing a police statement, said the child was 11 months old. In fact, she was 23 months old.
    Jul 08, 2021 1:39 PM PT

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