Pedestrians struck: Toddler killed, father hurt in downtown Vancouver crash

A driver was arrested in Vancouver after a downtown crash killed a toddler and injured a father who were on the sidewalk Tuesday night.

A black McLaren and a Ford Escape collided near the intersection of Hornby and Smithe streets just after 6 p.m. Police say one of the vehicles mounted the sidewalk because of the crash and struck a 31-year-old man who was carrying his daughter.

The child was just 23 months old.

Neighour Sue Caithness said the family lives below her.

“I saw them yesterday walking to work, and when I went home from work last night the mom had just come from the scene of the accident," Caithness told CTV News. "(She) was in shock, and she just lost her baby.”

The father and daughter had just come down to the street to greet the mother as she was coming home, Caithness added. “She saw her little girl, Ocean, and her partner across the road, and she waved," the neighbour said.

That’s when the crash happened.

“She witnessed her child and her partner get hit,” said Caithness.

An onlooker who was one of the first people on scene told CTV News the young girl died before help arrived, and that her dad had severe injuries to his arm, but was still conscious.

The witness said the girl’s mother was scraped and bruised, and inconsolable.

In a news release, the Vancouver Police Department called the incident "an absolute tragedy," and offered condolences to the family of the child.

The supercar was severely damaged with its front end completely crushed. The SUV ended up on the sidewalk with its windshield smashed in and airbags deployed.

Both drivers remained on scene, police said, and the 29-year-old driver of the Ford Escape was arrested.

“Vancouver police are continuing to investigate this file and as of now no charges have been recommended,” said Visintin during a news conference. “I don’t believe that alcohol or drugs were factors in this case.”

The intersection was closed for several hours as crash investigators did their work, but has since reopened. Anyone who witnessed the crash and has yet to speak with police is asked to call 604-717-3012. 

“They were a cute little family. Her girl was out with her every day,” said Caithness. “All her toys are in the backyard and she was able to start walking around, and I saw her that morning. Just tragic.”