The Independent Investigations Office of BC is investigating an incident that came to a tragic end as police say a man “jumped” from the top of a 40-storey crane in Whalley Thursday night (July 16).
According to a news release issued by Surrey RCMP, it began just before 6:30 p.m., when an officer saw a man climb over a fence and into a construction site at 9887 Whalley Blvd.
When the officer called out to the man, he ran and climbed to the top of the crane, the release states.
One witness reported the man “appears to be walking around the crane, sitting, then walking, then going into the operator’s box.”
Despite efforts by multiple agencies – including the Lower Mainland Emergency Response Team, a crisis negotiator and Surrey RCMP’s Car 67, which pairs a police officer with a mental health nurse – the man “jumped from the crane” shortly after 10 p.m., according to police.
He did not survive.
Police said many witnessed the tragic event, and police encouraged “anyone who may need help as a result of witnessing this incident to reach out to their health-care provider.”
“Witnessing a tragedy can be very impactful and emotionally disturbing,” Cpl. Elenore Sturko said.
The bulletin states that according to the RCMP, “following several hours of attempted negotiations, the man fell from the crane.”
The police watchdog will be investigating to “determine what role, if any, the officers’ actions or inaction may have played in the death of the man.”
The bulletin added that the BC Coroners Service is also conducting an independent investigation to“determine how, where, when and by what means he came to his death.”
IIO is asking anyone who has video of the incident to contact its toll-free witness line at 1-855-446-8477 or through the contact form at iiobc.ca.
If you feel like you are in crisis or are considering suicide, please call the Crisis Centre BC suicide hotline at 1-800-784-2433.
Some warning signs include suicidal thoughts, anger, recklessness, mood changes, anxiety, lack of purpose, helplessness and substance use.