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Man arrested after toddler dies in Downtown Vancouver crash

Last Updated Jul 8, 2021 at 2:23 pm PDT


Vancouver police say two vehicles collided at Smithe and Hornby streets, sending one vehicle onto the sidewalk

An 23-month-old girl died at the scene and her father was taken to the hospital

The driver of one of the vehicles involved in the crash has been arrested

Editor’s note: Vancouver police have issued a correction to its previous statement that the child was 11 months old. The girl was, in fact, 23 months old.

This article has been updated to reflect this correction.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A man has been arrested after a toddler was hit by a car near the courthouse in Downtown Vancouver Tuesday.

The crash happened at around 6 p.m. near Smithe and Hornby streets, where police say a black Ford Escape collided with a black Mclaren.

Police say the crash sent one of the vehicles onto the sidewalk, hitting a man who was carrying his 23-month-old daughter. The child died at the scene.

The 31-year-old father was taken to the hospital, but he is expected to survive.

Police say the drivers of both vehicles stayed at the scene.

The 29-year-old driver of the Ford Escape is in custody, but no charges have been recommended.

Images from the scene Tuesday show an SUV with heavy damage to the front of it, up on a sidewalk.

Other photos show a badly damaged sports car a short distance away near the curb just off the intersection. A line of evidence markers and police tape were set up.

Daniel Kennedy witnessed the scene just moments after the crash. He says he was walking along Hornby Street when he was met by police tape.

“I saw there was an SUV up on the sidewalk, right in front of the Boston Pizza, which looked alarming because it’s like, well there could be people on the patio right there. But I don’t think it breached the patio,” he told NEWS 1130.

Kennedy recalls overhearing one person say, “I can’t believe this happened.”

He remembers the silence that followed the crash — something he notes is quite different from other collisions you may see.

“There was about 50 people just standing around, and it was dead silent. That was very different thainn other crashes where people might be talking about what happened and what they saw. There was none of that. Just people standing around in silence,” he explained, adding people appeared to be “stunned.”

Investigators are still looking into what led up to the crash. They’re asking for witnesses or anyone with dash-cam footage in the area of Hornby and Smithe streets on July 6 at around 6 p.m. to call VPD’s Collision Investigation Unit at 604-717-3012.