British Columbia

Ryan Reynolds 'heartbroken' over death of stunt rider on Vancouver set of Deadpool 2

A stunt person working on the Vancouver set of Deadpool 2 has died after losing control of a motorcycle and crashing it through a window.

A motorcycle crashed through a window of Shaw Tower near Jack Poole Plaza, according to witnesses

A motorcycle lies on the ground after the crash just across from Jack Poole Plaza. (Don Marce/CBC)

A female stunt rider working on the Vancouver set of Deadpool 2 has died after losing control of her motorcycle.

According to witnesses, she crashed through a glass window of Shaw Tower, near Jack Poole Plaza.

Ryan Reynolds, the star of the film, expressed condolences on behalf of the crew to the friends and family of the woman, who was identified by coroners as SJ Harris, a 40-year old professional road racer from New York City.

"We're heartbroken, shocked and devastated," he tweeted. "But recognize nothing can come close to the grief and inexplicable pain her family and loved ones must feel in this moment."

Two ambulances were called to the scene on Monday morning and left without sirens on.

Canada Place is now closed from Burrard Street to Thurlow Street.

Vancouver Police Department officers remain at the scene, along with investigators from WorkSafeBC and the Coroners Service of B.C.

'From zero to really quick'

Nathan Kramchynski, who works on the seventh floor of Shaw Tower, said he was watching the stunts on the street below when he saw the crash take place.

He said the stunt woman had completed the same stunt manoeuvre several times before the crash occurred. 

"She lost control really quickly, it happened in a split second. She was going full throttle, and then there was a building there," he said.

"She went from zero to really quick. She just disappeared from view."

Jason Cameron, the business agent for film, television and new media with the Union of British Columbia Performers/ACTRA (UBCP/ACTRA), said the union is in the process of sending support resources to its members.

"It's a very sad day. We are just sending one of our union reps to the production and meeting with production representatives and also any of our members that were on set at the time to offer resources and trauma counselling," he said.

"This is an exceedingly rare type of occurrence despite the fact that there are lots of stunt heavy productions that shoot in Vancouver. Accidents, let alone fatal accidents, are extremely rare."

According to WorkSafeBC, the last time a stunt person died on the job was more than two decades ago. 

In 1996, a stunt performer died after their parachute failed to open in a jump from a helicopter.

A stunt co-ordinator also died in 1998 after explosives ignited unexpectedly.

In a statement, 20th Century Fox said "we are deeply saddened by the accident that occurred on the set of Deadpool 2 this morning. Our hearts and prayers are with the family, friends and colleagues of our crew member during this difficult time."

With files from Farrah Merali