The neighbourhood where a teenager was hit and killed by a dump truck in Burnaby, B.C., this week has had problems with commercial vehicles for more than a year, according to RCMP.
Mounties have received about 10 complaints in the last 12 months about traffic near 11th Avenue and 16th Street, including one about another teenager being struck, Cpl. Brett Cunningham said Friday.
An 18-year-old girl told police she had been clipped by a truck or minivan's mirror as she was walking around midday on Nov. 15. She was not seriously hurt, but neighbours say they've complained to the city, police and WorkSafeBC about heavy vehicles in the area for months.
News of the safety concerns comes after a 14-year-old girl was killed by a dump truck along 11th Avenue at around 3:20 p.m. on Thursday. She was walking home from school and was with friends at the time, police say.
"This tragic incident reminds us all of the importance of road safety," Cunningham said. "We'd ask these drivers to be reminded not to be distracted [and] to operate mechanically safe vehicles that are thoroughly inspected."
The driver was working for a business involved in a construction site near the site of the fatal crash and is "devastated and in shock," according to a statement from developer Ledingham McAllister and Marcon Construction.
The teenager was a Grade 8 student at nearby Byrne Creek Community School. The school's principal sent a letter to families of grieving students on Friday.
"Our hearts break for the family who are facing this unimaginable loss. Our support and sympathy are with them," Effie Aadland wrote. "An incident like this is always difficult to accept and is affecting many in our school community."
The Burnaby School District Critical Incident Response Team was on site Friday to offer counselling and support to students.
Dozens of vehicles taken off the road this year
The stretch of road on 11th Avenue has single-family homes on one side of the street and an industrial complex on the other.
Cunningham said police are aware of the safety concerns in the neighbourhood and have been working with the city and the community to address them.
In the first four months of this year, RCMP conducted 24 commercial vehicle inspection operations in the area, including three within a three-block radius of where the 13-year-old was killed, Cunningham said.
During that time, police inspected 110 commercial vehicles, pulled 68 off the road and issued 134 tickets for violations including defective vehicles, insecure cargo and use of electronic devices.
RCMP said the driver involved in Thursday's crash was pulling a dump trailer at the time. The 57-year-old man, who is not a Burnaby resident, stayed at the scene and co-operated with investigators.
No arrests have been made.
Ledingham McAllister and Marcon Construction said the construction site was closed on Friday and will remain closed through the weekend.
"While the accident happened on a public street outside of our construction site, we have launched our own investigation and will work with city staff to explore further ways to reduce risk as trucks enter and leave our site," the company said in a statement.
"To that end, until mid next week, we will suspend all activity on our construction site that requires heavy trucks to transport construction materials, including dump trucks."
Anyone who might have seen the collision or who might have dashcam video of the area around 11th Avenue between 18th Street and 15th Street from 3 to 4 p.m. on Thursday is asked to call RCMP.