Woman killed by hit-and-run driver in Vancouver

By Paris Achen, Columbian courts reporter

Published:

Updated: May 3, 2012, 11:00 PM

 
Fatal hit-and-run crash

A woman was killed by a hit-and-run driver Thursday in Central Vancouver. The alleged driver, followed from the scene by witnesses, has been arrested on suspicion of vehicular homicide and felony hit and run causing death.

The crash occurred about 7:19 p.m. on Fourth Plain Boulevard between Neals Lane and Rossiter Lane, according to Kevin Stromberg, firefighter-paramedic for the Vancouver Fire Department.

Witnesses at the scene said the woman was crossing Fourth Plain in a crosswalk at Neals Lane when she was struck by a silver Honda hatchback going as fast as 80 mph. She was thrown 125 feet from the crosswalk to the front of Becerra’s Plaza on Fourth Plain.

Witness Kacie Freedman of Vancouver said the woman had stepped into the crosswalk, saw the speeding vehicle and took a step back, but not in time to avoid the car. She fell on top of the hood and then was propelled a story high into the air, Freedman said. Her belongings, including a notebook, brown shoes and a cream and brown purse, were strewn along Fourth Plain.

Witnesses followed the vehicle to a residence east of the crash site. Vancouver police located the vehicle and detained the alleged driver, James I. Collins, 37. After an interview, they placed him under arrest.

Stromberg said the woman died of her injuries before rescuers could arrive.

Marion Pichon of Vancouver was at a nearby convenience store when the crash happened. She said she tried to help the woman, monitoring her pulse as they waited for paramedics to arrive. She said the woman appeared to be in her 20s.

“She lost her pulse just a minute before they came,” Pichon said. “I’m shaking. This is the first time I had someone die in front of me.”

Traffic on Fourth Plain was blocked between Rossiter Lane and Neals Lane for the investigation.

The identity of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family.