A two-year-old child was killed Friday morning after being struck by a minivan in the parking lot of a Pitt Meadows mall.
Witnesses told Ridge Meadows RCMP that Rowena Servio and her son Riddick were in a crosswalk when they were hit, at approximately 9:45 a.m., near a northern entrance to Meadowtown Centre.
The boy was rushed to Ridge Meadows Hospital with serious injuries but did not survive after going under the vehicle. The child’s mother suffered only minor injuries, possibly a broken leg, in what police believe was a slow-speed accident. They are from Maple Ridge.
“No parent can ever imagine what this would be like,” said Ridge Meadows RCMP Sgt. Dale Somerville.
The Honda minivan, equipped with a lift for a wheel-chair, was being driven by a 42-year-old woman from Pitt Meadows. RCMP said the driver remained on scene and is cooperating with police. According to police, the driver was stopped at a four-way intersection, facing south, and was making a left-hand turn to leave the shopping centre onto the Lougheed Highway.
“The van driver just did not see them,” said Somerville. “We’ve all had that moment of inattention.”
He also called it a busy and confusing intersection.
While being interviewed by media about an hour after the accident, Somerville noted that the sun was in his eyes. He was facing the same direction as the driver would have been. He noted the sun would have been even lower in the sky when the accident happened. He planned to have officers return to the scene on Saturday morning, to determine whether the driver could have been blinded by the sun.
The driver could face charges of dangerous driving causing death, he said.
A fund to support the Servio family has been set up at gofundme.com. The goal was to raise $500, a gesture to buy the couple catered meals as they grieve. Within six hours the goal had been tripled, as donations of $20, $50 and $100 came in, and as of Monday morning it stood at $4,458. The excess funds will be given to the couple.
Any witnesses who have not spoken to RCMP are asked to called 604-463-6251.
— With files from Monisha Martins