Driver in hospital as police investigate speeding and medical issues in fatal BC wedding crash

The site where a car crashed into a wedding reception killing at least two people in West Vancouver on August 21, 2022.Jimmy Jeong/The Globe and Mail

Police say the driver of an SUV that hit a wedding celebration in West Vancouver on Saturday, killing two people, remains in hospital as investigators look into whether speeding or a medical incident was involved in the incident. accident.

West Vancouver Police Constable Nicole Braithwaite told a news conference Monday that the scene of the incident at the 400 block of Keith Road was “chaotic.”

She said two women in their 60s were pronounced dead at the scene and seven other adults were taken to hospital, two of them in critical condition.

Among those taken to hospital is the driver of the 2016 Range Rover who hit the celebration, although Braithwaite said his condition was not known.

Braithwaite said the driver, also in her 60s, was leaving her home via a driveway shared with the property where the wedding party was taking place around 6.10pm when the accident happened.

Cpl. Dave Noon of the Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service said officers would seek a warrant for the SUV’s data recorder as they try to establish what happened and whether charges would be recommended.

“We don’t have any answers yet on what happened,” Noon said at the press conference, although the speed and a possible medical issue were both being investigated.

Noon said investigators were helping West Vancouver police compile a “comprehensive report that could be provided to the Crown.”

He said that in his eight years with ICARS he had witnessed more than 100 fatal collisions, all of them tragic, but this was the first time his unit had been called to a wedding.

Braithwaite said police would collect an “abundance of evidence” to determine whether charges would be brought and inform the public.

She said the accident was “an absolute tragedy and our whole community is affected by it”.

“This is a difficult time for the families of the victims, the witnesses who were present, the driver involved and all the emergency services who attended this event,” Braithwaite said.

The incident happened “on what should have been the best day of someone’s life”, she added.

British Columbia Emergency Health Services said 12 units, including 11 land ambulances and one air ambulance, were dispatched to the scene.

The health agency had said over the weekend that 10 people had been taken to hospital. Although Braithwaite did not explain the apparent discrepancy during the press conference, the agency later said there had been an “misreporting” to its communications team and confirmed that nine people had were taken to hospital.

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