Police close Coquitlam intersection to re-enact crash that killed 13-year-old girl
Officers re-enacted journey of one of the cars to figure out driver's sight lines, RCMP say
Police closed a Coquitlam, B.C., intersection for an hour Tuesday to partially re-enact a fatal crash that killed a 13-year-old girl in March.
The closure was part of Coquitlam RCMP's investigation into the multi-vehicle crash at the intersection of Mariner Way and Riverview Crescent, which also left a six-year-old boy seriously injured.
A grey Dodge Charger and a black BMW collided at the intersection at about 2:50 p.m. PT on March 25.
One of the cars spun onto a raised traffic island where five kids were standing, waiting to cross the street, police said.
The girl, from Coquitlam, and the boy were taken to hospital with serious injuries. The girl died soon after, police said.
Re-enactments common, police say
Two other girls, 17 and 10, were on the traffic island when the crash occurred, plus another boy, aged 11, police said.
Officers often re-enact collisions when investigating, Coquitlam RCMP Sgt. Quentin Frewing said Tuesday.
"Doing a re-enactment helps us get a clearer picture of what everyone saw at the time of the collision," Frewing said.
More unusual, however, is closing a busy intersection. Frewing said police closed the intersection Tuesday for safety and to control the positions of all vehicles.
Under light rain, police re-enacted the journey of the BMW, which travelled northbound on Mariner Way.
At the time of the crash, it collided with the southbound Dodge Charger, which tried to turn left onto Riverview Crescent. The BMW spun onto the island where the kids were standing.
Police filmed the re-enactment with an in-car camera and repeated the drive at different speeds to understand what the BMW's driver would have seen as they drove up the road.
'The visibility is not good'
Police said it's too soon to say whether charges will be laid. The drivers are cooperating with the investigation, Frewing said.
Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart said the the city will look to implement safety measures once police wrap up their investigation, such as adding curb bulges so that cars slow down.
"Our engineering team takes these things personally, because they want our streets, just like I do, to be as safe as possible," Stewart said.
Fran Friesen, who lives a few houses from the scene, said she has seen numerous crashes at the intersection over the years and is glad to see the city acting on it.
"The visibility is not good," she said.
"It's on the crest of a hill. If you're turning left off Mariner, onto Riverview, you cannot see the vehicles coming up that hill until they've crested. And if they're speeding, which a lot of them do, it's dangerous."
With files from Rafferty Baker