British Columbia

Victoria man arrested and charged in fatal stabbing of beloved overdose prevention worker

A 23-year-old Victoria man has been arrested and charged in the July 27 stabbing death of Vancouver resident Thomus Donaghy outside an overdose prevention site near St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.

Maximus Roland Hayes charged with 1 count of manslaughter

Colleagues say Thomus Donaghy saved hundreds of lives while working as a volunteer with the Overdose Prevention Society. (Sarah Blyth)

A 23-year-old Victoria man has been arrested and charged in the July 27 stabbing death of Vancouver resident Thomus Donaghy outside an overdose prevention site near St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver.

Maximus Roland Hayes is charged with one count of manslaughter. 

Police say Donaghy, 41, was working at the overdose prevention site next door to the hospital, when he went outside and became involved in a fistfight with another man. 

He was rushed to the hospital but later died of his injuries. 

Donaghy was one of the first volunteers at the Overdose Prevention Society (OPS) when it opened its doors in 2016 in response to the opioid crisis, says Sarah Blyth, executive director at OPS.

Donaghy would walk Vancouver's streets and alleys, often alone at night, just to make sure someone didn't overdose alone, she said.

In all, she estimates he saved hundreds of lives.

"Everybody loved him and the thought of something tragic happening to him in that way is unbearable for everyone in the community," said Blyth. "He had a lot of compassion. More than most."

Hayes was arrested Thursday in North Vancouver. It was the city's ninth homicide of the year.

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