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2 UBC students dead after vehicle veers onto campus sidewalk

·2 min read
Police work at the scene of a fatal collision Sunday on Northwest Marine Drive at the University of British Columbia. (Doug Kerr/CBC News - image credit)
Police work at the scene of a fatal collision Sunday on Northwest Marine Drive at the University of British Columbia. (Doug Kerr/CBC News - image credit)

An overnight crash at the University of British Columbia has left two students dead after they were struck by a vehicle that veered onto the sidewalk.

University RCMP say they were called to a single vehicle collision on Northwest Marine Drive at about 1:45 a.m. PT Sunday.

In a statement, RCMP say the Vancouver Fire Department and Emergency Health Services were also called to the scene, where the two pedestrians were pronounced dead.

A preliminary analysis of the scene led police to determine that the driver of the vehicle veered off the side of the road and hit the two pedestrians — one an 18-year-old male, the other an 18-year-old female — who were on the sidewalk.

Both victims were students at UBC.

Ryan Stelting
Ryan Stelting

The driver of the vehicle, a 21-year-old male, was arrested at the scene and taken to a local hospital with minor injuries.

Police say he was later released and is expected to appear in court at a later date.

UBC president expresses condolences

"It is difficult to comprehend and express the enormity of the loss of these two bright and promising young adults," UBC president Santa Ono said in a statement.

"On behalf of the university, I wish to extend our deepest and heartfelt condolences to their families, friends and loved ones. Our community mourns with you."

Ono said grief and trauma counselling supports will be available to students.

Janella Hamilton/CBC
Janella Hamilton/CBC

Cole Evans, the president of the university's student society (AMS), said he and other students were deeply saddened by the tragedy.

"I can't even begin to describe the feeling that it brings when students who are your colleagues here on campus lose their lives," he said.

"Whenever this happens, it's just, for the community, it's tough and our job as a student society is to be there for our members."

Doug Kerr/CBC NEws
Doug Kerr/CBC NEws

AMS offers mental health supports for students, which Cole encouraged anyone affected by the tragedy to access. He said incidents like this are rare on campus.

Investigation

The Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service is on scene and conducting a full investigation.

Northwest Marine Drive is expected to remain closed into Sunday afternoon between Stadium and Agronomy roads, near the UBC Botanical Garden.

"This is a tragic incident that has impacted the whole university community. Our thoughts are with the families and friends during this difficult time," said Cpl. Ian Sim of the university detachment.

Police are still investigating to determine if speed and alcohol or drug impairment were factors in the collision.

RCMP said no names will be released to protect the privacy of the victims.

University RCMP is seeking any witnesses or dashcam video of the incident. Anyone with information should contact University RCMP at 604-224-1322.

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