Two teens killed after a driver fled a traffic stop on the border of Burnaby and New Westminster have been identified as the community rallies to support their families.
Online fundraisers identified 17-year-old Yasbirat Ytatek and 18-year-old Samir Olyad Suleiman Ali who died in the collision on their way home from a soccer game.
“Yasbirat was a phenomenal person and will be missed by many people. He was an amazing rugby and soccer player,” the fundraiser reads.
Ytatek was entering his final year of high school and had just recently made the Burnaby District Metro Soccer Men’s team. He was the eldest of four siblings. His family had recently immigrated from Ethiopia and is well-connected in the Edmonds community.
Ali was described a beloved member of his community, known by all as compassionate, friendly, bright and wise beyond his years.
“He regularly volunteered in his community, and most important to him in his life were his faith and the work he did with children,” the other online fundraiser reads.
Ali and his family arrived in Vancouver five years ago as refugees. The eldest of nine siblings, Ali became fascinated by technology and devoted his time to helping better the lives of other newcomers to Canada. Ali established a website to help newcomers find resources like language programs, housing and community centres.
He was set to attend UBC on a full scholarship in the fall.
In a news release on Tuesday (July 26), Metro Vancouver Transit Police said a suspect fled a traffic stop just after 11 p.m. and caused a serious collision at the intersection of Tenth Avenue and Sixth Street in New Westminster.
The vehicle that caused the collision was driving at a high speed and was found on fire after causing the multi-vehicle collision. Both the driver and passenger of the fleeing vehicle were arrested on scene. They remain in custody.
Police have recommended charges of of prohibited driving, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing death and flight from police.
Meanwhile, the Independent Investigation Office of B.C. is investigating to determine if police actions or inactions were a factor in the incident.