Manitoba

'This was a freak accident': Bulldog Demolition ordered to improve safety after parking lot death

The company working at the site has complied with an improvement order related to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, according to Workplace Safety and Health.

Family gathers at site to call for answers

Dozens of family and friends of Tamara Orellana held a vigil on Friday afternoon at the site where she was killed. The company Bulldog Demolition and Excavation has complied with the province's request for improved safety measures at the site following Orellana's death. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Friends and family of a pedestrian who was run over by a dump truck gathered Friday afternoon in the spot where she died, once again calling for answers.

They placed flowers at a memorial for Tamara Orellana, the 57-year-old who was walking through a parking lot outside the Garden City Shopping Centre on April 1 when she was run over by a construction truck.

The company working at the site, Bulldog Demolition and Excavation Inc., has complied with an improvement order related to pedestrian and vehicular traffic, according to Workplace Safety and Health.

"Immediately after the incident the employer implemented additional safety measures addressing both vehicular and pedestrian traffic at the work site," a spokesperson for the province wrote in an email to CBC News.

The improvement order requires the company to formalize its safety procedures in writing and ensure they're implemented, the spokesperson wrote.

The truck that was involved in the incident was also subject to a stop work order, which the company complied with, the province said.

'This is a fatal freak accident': company

CBC News reached out to Bulldog Demolition and Excavation Inc., but owner Eric Fleury declined an interview.

About a dozen construction workers attended the vigil, some in Bulldog Demolition clothing, and placed flowers at the memorial.

In a text message to CBC News, Fleury said his employees are also affected by what happened.

"We were here at Garden City in support of our people involved and affected by this tragic accident," he wrote. "This is a fatal freak accident in a parking lot," he wrote.

"The investigation will hopefully fill in the blanks but only God will know the whole truth."

Fleury said when he found out that a vigil was planned, he arranged a healing ceremony and asked for the site of the accident to be smudged.

Mourners places flowers at a memorial set up for Tamara Orellana, the 57-year-old who was run over and killed by a dump truck. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

The province confirmed the company has no previous prosecutions under the Workplace Safety and Health Act.

The family members CBC News spoke to said they had never been contacted by the company or received an apology.

Many carried signs questioning the safety of the site and calling for "Answers for Tamara," gathering in a circle next to the construction site.

At one point, they attempted to hang the posters on the fence of the construction site, but were told by Fleury they had to be taken down.

During the vigil, a person in an orange safety vest held a stop sign to keep traffic away from the group. 

Family and friends of Tamara Orellana gather in a circle at a memorial on Friday afternoon. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

Mall expects contractors to 'meet or exceed' safety

The former Sears location is being renovated and will be home to a Filipino grocery store set to open this summer, according to a press release from the Garden City mall's parent company, RioCan.

RioCan declined an interview with CBC about the incident, but in an email, vice-president of marketing and communications Terri Andrianopoulos said the company is "deeply saddened."  

"RioCan works hard to provide a safe environment for our employees, tenants and visitors, and all contractors and their employees are expected to meet or exceed safely [sic] laws and regulations."

"We are doing everything possible to assist the Winnipeg Police Service with their ongoing investigation," Andrianopoulos wrote.

Winnipeg police said no updated information about the investigation is available. 

About the Author

Marina von Stackelberg is a CBC journalist based in Winnipeg. She previously worked for CBC in Halifax and Sudbury. Connect with her @CBCMarina or marina.von.stackelberg@cbc.ca