Dillan Fernando sponsored his family to Canada from Sri Lanka and was always taking care of them.
Now his family is devastated. The 49-year-old lost his life on Saturday, May 15, in Pitt Meadows, after being struck by a dump truck at a traffic circle.
Fernando was born in Dehiwala, Sri Lanka.
His family described him as a mischievous and adventurous boy, who was shy in public.
Growing up he played basketball and, his family said, his friends would call him Bill Gates because of his computer knowledge and tech skills.
His father bought him his first computer when he was 10, which he would constantly take apart and fix. His passion for computers would continue to grow. He would continue his schooling in data business management.
In 1997 his work sent him to Silicon Valley, California, and would be reunited there with his two brothers.
He applied for permanent residency in Canada and when it was approved in 1999, he moved to Vancouver, eventually sponsoring his sister and their parents to come to Canada. They arrived in 2002.
In 2019 Fernando got married. He was living in Coquitlam.
Fernando was an avid cyclist.
“He was cycling pretty much every weekend,” said his sister Sarah Fernando.
That day he was out by himself. He left his Coquitlam condo at around 11 a.m. to cycle to Golden Ears bridge and loop back. He was expected home at 3 p.m., his sister explained.
Fernando was killed after being struck by a dump truck at around 2 p.m. at Harris Road and Airport Way.
Witnesses on scene said traffic at the intersection had yielded the right of way to emergency vehicles that were en-route to an incident. When the traffic started moving again, witnesses said, the dump truck clipped Fernando’s bicycle as he was walking it across the road. Fernando then fell to the ground and was struck by the back of the truck.
Ridge Meadows RCMP have yet to confirm the details of the collision.
Fernando’s sister said her family is still trying to make sense of what happened.
Her brother, she said, was a child at heart.
“He always loved playing his video games. He would get an old computer and play retro video games. He was always a kid at heart. He was very geeky and a tech nerd,” she remembered.
He also loved the outdoors: cycling, skiing, and hiking.
His brother Ben Fernando described him as “a unique person, selfless”, and extraordinary in giving.
“His life was too precious,” noted his brother who hopes that another life is not lost in such a senseless way.
He took care of his family, said his sister, even purchasing a house for his parents.
“He sacrificed a lot for our family. He was always giving my parents money and taking care of their needs. He always took care of all of us,” she said.
Ridge Meadows RCMP confirm they are still investigating this “tragic” accident and noted that investigations of this nature take time as police want to ensure a thorough investigation.
“We don’t expect to have results for quite some time due to the scope of these types on investigations,” said Const. Julie Klaussner with the Ridge Meadows RCMP.
The family is holding a tribute for Dillan Fernando at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 28, in Vancouver.
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