The pedestrian who died early Wednesday morning after being struck by a commercial vehicle in Abbotsford is being mourned by people residing in a homeless camp along Gladys Avenue.
A man at the camp said the deceased was a man in his 40s named Jesse. He said Jesse was his best friend, and he described him as charismatic, funny and intellectual.
“He was always helping people. He would give you the shirt off his back. If he didn’t have it, he would find it,” the man said.
He said he had known Jesse for the last 10 years, but wasn’t sure of the circumstances that brought him to the homeless camp. He had been a regular in the areas for the last few years, the friend said.
He said many people at the camp will miss Jesse.
“I won’t find anyone else like him,” he said.
The collision took place just after 3 a.m. Wednesday in the stretch of road near the Salvation Army and just down the road from the homeless camp.
Abbotsford Police Insp. Brett Crosby-Jones said the semi-truck had just left the Canada Post building at 33973 Gladys Ave. and was driving south when the collision occurred.
That area has poor lighting and no crosswalks, combined with vehicles that often speed while using the road as an arterial route to travel from the historic downtown core to Sumas Way (Highway 11) and vice versa. However, Crosby-Jones said the specifics of this incident are still under investigation.
Last fall, the City of Abbotsford budgeted $100,000 to design a rebuild of the roadway from Cyril Street to South Fraser Way.
Police, fire and ambulance personnel who responded to the incident located a deceased man at the scene.
Crosby-Jones said the 60-year-old truck driver – who is from Mission – remained on scene and is cooperating with investigators.
Collision reconstructionists, patrol division officers and BC Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement personnel are all involved in the investigation.
Anyone with information is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225, text abbypd (222973) or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.