Sleeping homeless man dies after vehicle drives over him in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside

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      A tragic and unnerving vehicle incident in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside has resulted in the death of homeless man who was asleep.    

      According to the Vancouver Police Department (VPD), a 39-year-old man with no fixed address was in a lane near Gore Street and Union Avenue around 3:30 p.m. on May 26. He was using drugs and fell asleep in front of a parkade gate.

      When a driver entered the underground parkade gate, the driver unknowingly drove the vehicle over the sleeping individual.

      According to investigators, who spoke with the driver, the driver was unable to see the pedestrian, who was lying flat on the ground near the parkade entrance.

      VPD spokesperson Sgt. Steve Addison said in a news release that the man “suffered grave injuries and had to be extricated from underneath the car by paramedics and firefighters”.

      Although the individual was rushed to hospital, he died on June 1.

      “While this was an awful and avoidable set of circumstances, we don’t believe foul play or dangerous driving were factors in this collision,” he stated in a news release.

      The VPD Collision Investigation Unit is leading the investigation for this case. Investigators have spoken with the driver, reviewed security video from the laneway, and examined the vehicle involved.

      No charges or tickets are expected against the driver.

      Addison called it a “tragic and heartbreaking” incident and it is the seventh pedestrian fatality in Vancouver this year.