NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) — There’s a bizarre twist to a story that led to a 32-year-old woman getting pinned underneath a moving SkyTrain car at the Columbia Station in New Westminster on Thursday.
Police were called at around 6:20 p.m. and when members arrived at the platform they found the woman trapped under the car on the tracks. As first responders rushed to extract her and get her to a hospital, investigators tried to figure out exactly what happened.
Their evidence so far shows there was a fight between two women on the platform and a 24-year-old man intervened to break things up. He got entangled with the 32-year-old woman and out of, what police say was self-defence, he pushed her. She lost her footing and stumbled backwards onto the tracks as the train was coming.
— Sonia Aslam (@SoniaSAslam) July 24, 2020
New Westminster Police acting Insp. Andrew Perry, who’s been an officer for almost two decades, hasn’t seen something like this before.
“It is odd and it’s obviously concerning anytime an altercation happens around a platform, obviously due to the high risk that somebody could fall into the tracks and an oncoming train, so it is concerning but we’re also trying to understand what actually really happened.”
He explains what’s key for them is to get more camera angles of what happened, speak to the 10 or so people who were on the platform, but to interview the other woman who was involved in the fight.
“We’re hoping this person comes forward and speaks with us so we can speak to her and learn what she observed and heard and what happened with her and the victim. There may be another offence that happened during that altercation that we need to investigate, so it is important we speak with her.”
The man stuck around was taken into custody for questioning, but Perry explains why charges won’t be recommended.
“First of all, there is evidence to suggest the male did not intend to push the female into the tracks and that the male’s actions, thereby his pushing, was done in self-defence. We cannot recommend charges at this point in time.”
Due to a police incident, the Columbia Skytrain Station will be closed until further notice. Please contact @Translink for additional route information.
— New West Police (@NewWestPD) July 24, 2020
It’s unclear what caused the fight between the two women.
“We don’t have any indication alcohol or drugs was a factor in this incident at this point in time. We are assessing whether mental health was a factor in this incident,” Perry said.
Investigators don’t think the three people knew each other.
The woman is still in the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
“It was very fortunate in the sense that anytime you come into contact with a moving SkyTrain, the risk of death is definitely a chance there so it was very fortunate the way this did happen that she honestly wasn’t killed.”
TransLink says the SkyTrain station was closed for about six hours.