A van driver who allegedly ran a red light in Surrey and hit a car, killing five members of a family, has died in hospital after surgery for a brain tumour detected during treatment for his accident injuries.
RCMP said on Monday that 46-year-old Daniel Gore of Langley, B.C., died without talking to investigators, although Mr. Gore’s lawyer said his client told a family member he could not recall anything about the April 28 accident that stunned Surrey and raised questions about traffic safety in B.C.’s second largest city.
Lawyer Richard Fowler said his client, a father of two, had breakfast with his son that morning, dropped him off at work, and was on his way to his job as a meat cutter at a supermarket when the accident occurred.
Mr. Fowler said Mr. Gore had left in plenty of time to get to work. In fact, he would have been a half-hour early.
“Everyone I have spoken to described him as a safe, prudent driver. He was one of those drivers people honk because he is going too slowly,” said Mr. Fowler, who never actually got to meet his client before he died on the weekend.
“The most obvious explanation for why the accident happened is that something medically happened just before the accident to explain why he was driving the way he was driving,” Mr. Fowler said.
He said physicians found Mr. Gore’s brain tumour while treating him for injuries from the accident. He had surgery for the tumour, but died Sunday afternoon.
“The really terribly sad thing is that he was making a reasonable recovery. He was out of intensive care. He was talking to his family, and then he had surgery on Friday. It appears he didn’t respond well to that surgery. Apparently, the tumour was very big and had been growing for awhile,” he said.
Neither Mr. Gore nor his family knew of his condition.
Mr. Fowler said Mr. Gore’s family is co-operating with police, who are still investigating the accident.
Police have said Mr. Gore ran the red light, colliding with a Toyota Corolla and killing all the occupants. They were driver Pawandeep Arjot, 31, her two children – 5-year-old Annish Sachdeva and 3-year-old Jessica Sachdeva – as well as her 47-year-old sister-in-law, Neelam Dhingra, and 68-year-old mother-in-law, Vidya Sachdeva.
“The investigation continues as planned. Knowing that we will never hear Mr. Gore’s version of this tragedy, we focus on the other evidence available,” Corporal Bert Paquet said in an e-mail exchange.
That would include collision-scene analysis, witness statements and lab and medical reports, he wrote.
“All the above information will assist us in confirming the contributing factors to the accident and help bring closure to both families involved.”
Barb McLintock, a spokesperson for the B.C. Coroners Service, said the service is proceeding with its own investigation as the basis of a coroners report.
Given the death of Mr. Gore, Ms. McLintock said no legal issues will slow the coroners probe.
But she declined to offer a timeline. “We’ll try to do it as quickly as we can.”