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Hit and run in Burnaby kills 71-year-old man

Last Updated Jun 14, 2019 at 11:09 am PDT

Summary

The victim, a 71-year-old man, died at the scene

The driver involved briefly stopped, then drove away

Investigators are looking for a semi, which was seen pulling a dark red shipping container

BURNABY (NEWS 1130) – How could someone just drive away?

That’s the stunned reaction after a collision at Marine Way and Boundary Road in Burnaby killed a 71-year-old man just after 11 am Thursday, June 6th.

Police are looking for the driver of a semi-truck pulling a dark red shipping container who witnesses say stopped briefly, then carried on eastbound along Marine Way towards New Westminster.

Cristine Gemino, who works nearby, says she didn’t see the crash, but she can’t believe the driver didn’t stay to help.

“I don’t know. I could never. Even if it was an animal, I could never do that. I’m just kind of shocked at some people,” she said. “I’m kind of a very sensitive person, so seeing something like that just really kind of gave me just the chills and not something you want to see. Sad.”

She says it was obvious the elderly man hit by the truck was dead when she tried to help, and others had already called 911.

“There were two or three people checking on him. One of them was on the phone, so I assume with 911. They were checking his vitals and they were trying to find something to cover him with and that’s when I assumed the worst,” Gemino said. “I’m just trying to figure out why he was trying to cross the street there? There’s nothing there.”

Ross Smyth heard the loud crash from his office overlooking Marine Way. He says he didn’t realize someone had been killed until he looked out the window to see what happened.

“Then I saw two shoes.  I tried to find something here to cover him and couldn’t, so I went out and helped. Somebody was already taking his pulse,” Smyth added. “He had bronze sunglasses on. He had fairly new shoes –black shoes.”

Smyth tells NEWS 1130 it took him some time to actually cross Marine Way to help.

“People weren’t stopping. I had to wait for traffic to go by to go across and one other fellow came and tried to do mouth-to-mouth, but the guy was gone,” he said. “Whether he was caught at the crosswalk way back and then, fell off at that point –got hung up and then dropped– I don’t know, but I feel sorry for the family.”

He was there when the suspect driver left, but not before someone else took pictures of the container he was pulling.

“It’s got identification marks on it that they’ll be able to trace or they’ll start looking for that type of a red c-can. They should be able to find it.”

Paramedics are also praising other truckers and drivers who stopped.

Editor’s Note: The Burnaby RCMP now says the victim was a 71-year-old man, and not 75-year-old. The article has been updated to reflect this correction.