Dog may have startled B.C. teen killed in dump truck crash

There is video showing the horrifying moment when a 14-year-old girl was hit by dump truck last week in Burnaby, and what might have prompted her to run out into the middle of the street.

She was struck while walking home from school near 11th Avenue and 16th Street on Thursday, and died at the scene.

On Monday, developers Ledingham McAllister and Marcon Construction said they have shared CCTV footage showing a neighbourhood dog darting out of its yard and startling the victim, causing her to run onto the road.

"Sadly, the driver would not have seen the victim as she ran between the dump truck and its hitched trailer," their statement reads.

Burnaby RCMP confirmed they have the surveillance footage, which shows one perspective of the incident.

"Police are aware that a dog had been nearby at the time of the collision. Investigators are still analyzing all statements and information, however, there is no indication the dog was behaving dangerously or had previously been the subject of any complaints to police," Cpl. Mike Kalanj wrote in an email statement.

Speed and impairment are not believed to be factors, Kalanj said.

"We know the community is looking for answers as to what caused this tragic collision. We are asking people not to jump to conclusions as our officers continue to gather necessary evidence," he said.

GIRL IDENTIFIED AS AFGHAN IMMIGRANT

A family friend said the 14-year-old had moved to Canada from Afghanistan nearly two years ago with her mother and siblings, to join her father who was already working here.

Jan Fawad told CTV News the girl's name is Muskan Behzad.

Fawad started an online fundraiser for the family, to help with funeral costs, which has now surpassed its $20,000 goal.

He said Behzad had five siblings who, along with her parents, are in shock and despair.

"She was known to be generous, kind, loving and the eldest of her siblings, helping her mother with all that was required in the home while also keeping her dreams alive," the GoFundMe page says.

"She excelled in her studies and took care of her younger siblings, helping her parents where she could."

It goes on to say she was proud to have moved to Canada, and was enjoying making new friends at her school.

A spokesperson for GoFundMe said the company has been in touch with the organizer to ensure all funds are directed to the family.

Fawad said Muskan was likely afraid of dogs due to her upbringing in Afghanistan.

Abdulai Dukuly, who lives near the accident scene, said he also grew up in a developing country and can relate to girl's apparent fear of dogs.

"Dogs in those countries are very wild, I can understand why she would run away," he said.

"I don't think we can blame the dog for the situation with this... bottom line is that there should be someone there," he said, referring to the need for more flaggers.

CHANGES MADE TO 11th AVENUE

There are three construction projects underway in the area, in addition to a nearby warehousing and trucking company, and residents said commercial vehicles are always whizzing by. Those who live in the area said there needs to be a better safety plan in place, regardless of what caused this crash.

"The circumstances of the tragedy do not change in any way our commitment to take actions and measures to do everything in our power to mitigate future risk," developers Ledingham McAllister and Marcon Construction said.

They said in addition to the RCMP investigation, they will be conducting their own investigation to see if they could identify any possible changes that could “mitigate future risk.”

The developers said once truck traffic returns to the site on Wednesday, the vehicles will enter and exit on 11th Avenue and 18th Street.

They will also be helping the City of Burnaby build a temporary sidewalk.

Mayor Mike Hurley said there will also be more flaggers in the area, but as plans are not confirmed, he could not provide specifics.

"This developer's safety plan, at our engineers review, they felt at the time that it would work. Now the neighbours are telling us it doesn't work. So we're going to make the proper adjustments and I want to share with the neighbourhood that their safety is our number one concern," Hurley said

He said he plans to go door-to-door to speak to the residents to consult with them about what changes they would like to see.

There is also an online petition asking for a sidewalk, speed bumps and signage indicating a speed limit.