Two dead in hit and run near Granville Island

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Two people are dead after being thrown several metres in a hit-and-run incident near the entrance to Granville Island Saturday night. Vancouver police spokeswoman Jana McGuinness told the Vancouver Sun that at about 11:53 p.m., a 31-year-old man and 25-year-old woman were in a crosswalk under the Granville Street Bridge at Fourth Avenue when they were hit by a black Buick SUV.

The two were thrown “several metres” and died at the scene, she said. Immediately after impact, police said, the 18-year-old driver got out of his vehicle, and ran northbound — down the hill from Fourth Avenue and into the Granville Island area — toward False Creek.

He dove into the water but police dogs tracked him down and he was taken into custody, where he remained Sunday. Speed and alcohol were likely factors in the crash, said McGuinness.

Two female passengers, aged 14 and 16, were in the vehicle at the time of the incident, and stayed at the scene. They were interviewed as well, McGuinness said.

Investigators said the couple was behaving as they should — at a pedestrian-controlled lit sign permitting them to cross the street, said McGuinness. Police are looking for witnesses to help reconstruct the incident.

“We are appealing for any help in piecing [together] what led to this. Somebody may have seen something at the time, or five minutes before, when the vehicle was driving along West Fourth,” said McGuinness.

Anyone with more information on the hit-and-run is asked to contact the VPD Collision Investigation Unit at 604-717-3012.

Last modified: February 9, 2009

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