BC Transit driver helps VicPD find missing 91-year-old man

The assault occurred at this intersection in Victoria, March 22, 2019. (CTV Vancouver Island)

BC Transit is crediting one of its Victoria bus drivers with helping find a missing senior.

Victoria police asked BC Transit to keep a lookout for a missing 91-year-old man on March 25, according to the transit company.

Police said the senior was last seen in the Bay Street area of downtown Victoria around 9:30 p.m., and BC Transit notified drivers who were passing through the area.

Within the hour, BC Transit operator Thomas Warr was driving his double decker number 50 bus into the downtown core when he saw someone who matched VicPD's description of the missing man.

"I was sitting at a red light at Douglas and Bay and saw a guy that seemed very similar to the description," he said in a release Tuesday.

"I radioed in to see if the missing person also had a cane and hat, and the cane was confirmed," he said. "At that point I pulled over at a stop so I could keep an eye on him to make sure he didn’t wander off."

Warr, who's been a transit operator in Victoria for the past three years, then communicated with BC Transit and was told that a transit supervisor was on their way, so Warr could continue driving his passengers to the next stop.

The transit supervisor arrived and kept an eye on the missing man until VicPD officers appeared and assisted the senior. BC Transit says that the man was located less than an hour after VicPD contacted the company notifying them of the missing person.

"We get these calls daily, sometimes more," said BC Transit communications communicator Shaun Groenesteyn in the same release.

"We do our best to keep our work transit-related, but we’re all humans. If we see somebody in distress we want to help," he said.

Groenesteyn says that BC Transit has helped locate missing people in partnership with VicPD for years.

The experience wasn't the first for Warr either. Just one day before, on March 24, the BC Transit driver dropped off a passenger and Sooke but was concerned for his wellbeing.

"After a brief conversation with him, I told T-Comm that they may want to send the RCMP out to make sure the man was OK," he said.

"It turns out, his whereabouts were also unknown and people were probably worried. I was just in the right place at the right time."