The woman was walking near East Hastings and Jackson Street in Vancouver around 12:30 a.m. when she was struck by a white van and became trapped underneath, police said.
"It was only after [the driver] had pulled over and stopped that he realized that this woman had been pinned under his vehicle and had suffered some very serious injuries," said Sgt. Steve Addison.
JUST IN: A woman is fighting for her life in hospital after being struck by a car near East Hastings and Jackson just after midnight. @VancouverPD say the driver didn’t realize they hit the woman and kept driving with her pinned under the car for a few blocks before stopping.
Officers have not been able to identify the woman, who is believed to be in her 40s, Addison added. Police are also trying to determine where she was walking at the time of the accident.
Police say the driver is a man in his 30s from the U.S. He was taken into custody but has since been released. Addison says impaired driving may have been a factor.
"At this point we do believe that alcohol may have played a role in the collision but we are conducting further investigation to determine the circumstances of the event," he added.
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A woman is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after she was struck by a van and dragged for several blocks in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Vancouver police Const. Steve Addison said it happened around 12:30 a.m. Saturday around the area of Hastings Street between Columbia and Jackson streets.
“Unfortunately, the driver of the vehicle that struck her did not realize that he had struck the pedestrian,” Addison said.
“It was only after the driver came to a stop at Columbia and Hastings when he realized that this collision had occurred and realized this woman was trapped on his vehicle or under his vehicle.”
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The driver, a man from the U.S. in his 30s, was taken into custody but has been released as the investigation continues.
Addison says police have been unable to identify the woman but are “working to do that.” It’s believed the woman is in her 40s, and she remains on life support.
Addison said the female pedestrian, who has not been identified, suffered serious and life-threatening injuries.
Hastings Street has a 30 km/h speed limit, but residents and homeless advocates in the Downtown Eastside admit jaywalking is an issue.
“We have seen on occasion some of our guests or people in the community with a near miss,” Jeremy Hunka with the Union Gospel Mission said, “and occasionally we do see pedestrian-involved incidents along this corridor.”
A woman who identified herself as Tina lives near the intersection where the driver came to a stop, and says it’s the third time she knows of someone getting hit in the area in the last month and a half.
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“There’s a million people out there,” she said. “You’d think somebody would have run after the guy or yelled or something.”
Hunka said he and the rest of the Downtown Eastside community is shocked by the incident and are hoping the woman recovers.
“The initial reaction is heartbreak and horror,” he said. “Just sounds horrifying that this could happen and heartbroken for this woman.”
Police are asking anyone with dashcam video or any other potential witnesses to call Vancouver police.