Three people dead in Burnaby in two days. This madness has to stop

Chris Campbell

I had to change the headline of this blog this morning. It originally read as "Two people dead in Burnaby in two days."

I had written it last night and timed it to come out this morning.

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Then I woke up to learn that a second pedestrian and third person had been killed on a Burnaby road in just two days - this time on Lougheed Highway near Madison in a crash that involved multiple vehicles, including at least one speeding.

I can't keep up with this. It's utter madness and has to stop.

A 75-year-old pedestrian was killed Thursday morning in an apparent hit-and-run tragedy. Another person was killed on Friday in a situation that police say may have included up to eight vehicles at Kingsway and Nelson.

Since our story on the first dead pedestrian was posted, I’ve seen some irritating responses to this line: “It appears as though he was not in a marked crosswalk when he was hit, police said.”

A senior citizen is dead, but some people feel a need to draw conclusions and pass judgment that is was somehow the pedestrian’s “fault” and so the man doesn’t deserve sympathy.

First, you should be ashamed of yourself for trying to convince other people to have just as little compassion for a dead pedestrian as you do.

Second, you don’t know all of the facts, so maybe ease off trying to be an armchair crash specialist.

The comments are a sign of just how much animosity there is between drivers, cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians.

I see and hear this stuff all the time.

Drivers can’t stand being criticized for lousy driving so they blow it off by saying that it’s actually those other people who don’t understand the rules of the road.

I’m not saying that cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians don’t make errors in judgment or don’t follow the rules of the road. What I’m saying is that while everybody makes mistakes, it’s drivers who are the ones who maim or kill when they do something foolish because they are the ones inside the hurtling piece of metal.

Drivers need to mind their own business. They need to slow down. They need to watch others. They need to stop applying makeup, shaving, eating or staring at their phones while driving (and drinking alcohol and/or smoking weed).

And stop being so angry at cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians. Like I said, just mind your business and do everything you can to drive safely. The better drivers are at what they do, the fewer people will die.

Because people are dying. This is the second pedestrian fatality in Burnaby in the past six months. (Oh, and if you're upset with my photo choice, too bad, people need to be faced with the reality of what happened.)

As for Friday's crash, it's still early in the investigation, but apparently speed was a factor.

As for Thursday’s tragedy, police are now looking for a “vehicle of interest” described as a semi-truck pulling a dark-red shipping container. Anyone with information about the semi is being urged to contact police immediately. Contact Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9999.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.


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