Police say the driver of an SUV that struck a wedding celebration in West Vancouver on Saturday, killing two people, remains in hospital as investigators look into whether speed or a medical incident was involved in the crash.
Constable Nicole Braithwaite of West Vancouver Police told a news conference Monday that the scene of the incident at the 400 block of Keith Road was “chaotic.”
She said two women in their 60s were pronounced dead at the scene, and seven other adults were taken to hospital, two in critical condition.
Those taken to hospital include the driver of the 2016 Range Rover that struck the celebration, although Braithwaite said her condition was not known.
Braithwaite said the driver, also in her 60s, was leaving her home via a driveway shared with the property where the wedding party was taking place around 6:10 p.m. when the crash happened.
Cpl. Dave Noon of the Integrated Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service said officers would seek a warrant for the SUV’s data recorder as they try to establish what happened and whether charges would be recommended.
“We don’t have the answers yet as to what took place,” Noon told the news conference, although speed and a possible medical issue were both being considered.
Noon said investigators were assisting West Vancouver Police to compile a “comprehensive report that may be provided to Crown.”
He said during his eight years with ICARS, he had attended more than 100 fatal collisions, all of them tragic, but it was the first time his unit had been called to a wedding.
Braithwaite said police would be collecting an “abundance of evidence” to determine if charges would be laid and would update the public.
She said the crash was “an absolute tragedy and our entire community is affected by this.”
“This is a difficult moment in time for the families of the victims, the witnesses who were present, the driver who was involved and all the emergency services who attended this event,” Braithwaite said.
The incident occurred on “what should have been somebody’s happiest day of their lives,” she added.
BC Emergency Health Services said 12 units, including 11 ground and one air ambulance, were dispatched to the scene.
The health agency had said on the weekend that 10 people were taken to hospital. While Braithwaite did not explain the apparent discrepancy during the news conference, the agency later said there had been a “reporting error” to their communication team and confirmed that nine people had been transported to the hospital.
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