A passerby tends to a jogger who was hit by a falling branch Thursday afternoon in South Surrey. (Contributed photo)

Falling limb hits South Surrey jogger

City assessing forest edge after 25-year-old runner struck in ‘bizarre’ incident

City of Surrey officials have been given a heads-up about a possible dangerous tree, after a jogger was struck and injured by a falling limb last Thursday afternoon in South Surrey.

Cpl. Joanie Sidhu said officers were alerted to the “bizarre” incident shortly after 1 p.m. May 7. It occurred on 20 Avenue, near 142 Street. One witness told Peace Arch News the runner was conscious and talking to a passerby when he happened across the scene.

Fortunately, “they found that the man did not have life-threatening injuries,” Sidhu told Peace Arch News at the time.

However, two family friends of the jogger have since reached out to PAN, explaining that the injuries were more severe than originally reported.

According to one friend, the 25-year-old jogger suffered two fractured vertebrae in his back, and spent most of Friday in surgery at Vancouver General Hospital, where he remains.

Thankfully, she noted, her friend was young and in good shape because “this branch would have killed a senior, or a child.”

Recovery is expected to take “months” she said, adding that her friend is a Vancouver resident who was in South Surrey visiting his family in advance of Mother’s Day.

Nearby resident Ralph Sketchley said the incident makes him wonder if Surrey will assess trees in the area. The branch that hit the jogger fell from a “dead-for-years” tree, he noted.

Last November, city staff removed eight dead trees from a stretch of Croydon Drive in South Surrey, after being alerted to one that fell on a woman’s SUV.

READ MORE: City of Surrey to remove eight dead trees along stretch of road where SUV was hit

Friday, City of Surrey’s manager of parks Neal Aven said staff attended the site of Thursday’s incident on the same day, removed the downed wood from the sidewalk and “further assessed the area for trees of immediate concern.”

“None were observed,” he noted.

Friday, parks staff were assessing the forest edge along 20 Avenue, between 140 Street and Rotary Way, Aven added.

“Following the assessment, trees that require pruning or other work will be scheduled for completion.”



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

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