Vancouver Police say criminal charges will not be recommended in connection to the traffic-related death of a 23-year-old woman.
Shortly before 9:30 pm on the evening of January 9th, a party bus operated by Silver Lady Limousines was travelling along West Hastings Street with the victim and 27 other passengers on board.
When the driver made a left turn to go south on Burrard Street, the young woman lost her balance and stumbled into the stairwell against the pneumatic passenger door.
The door opened and the woman fell out of the bus.
She died at the scene.
It was determined that a mechanical malfunction and low operating pressure with the pneumatic door were the main contributing factors in the fatality.
The owner and the driver of the vehicle have been fined under the Motor Vehicle Act and are still subject to potential civil action.
Mother in shock
Chelsea’s mother says she’s in “shock” that charges won’t be recommended.
“No accountability for a commercial vehicle that hauls around a lot of people, ya know, there’s no accountability in our system these buses, there are no regulations for them so if we can change it for somebody else that’s what we’re going to do as a family.”
James says there should to be regulations in place governing party buses and she plans to pursue that with the provincial government “to make it safe for everybody and to know that you’re okay on a public means of transportation.”
“At the end of the day my daughter paid the price and nobody is being held accountable and that’s the sad thing, she did nothing wrong, they still have her money for a safe ride ya know and that’s not what she got.”
READ MORE: Mom wants chaperones on party buses
Industry under fire
The party bus industry has been under increasing scrutiny in recent years after a string of incidents, like the 2008 death of Shannon Raymond who took a fatal dose of ecstasy on a party bus.
In February of last year, the province toughened regulations on operators, requiring new special authorization licenses and cracking down on drinking in the vehicles.
That hasn’t been enough for some, like Raymond’s mother Julie who has been pushing for mandatory chaperones in the vehicles.
Silver Lady has been cited for several safety violations in recent years, including emergency doors and exits that didn’t open properly.