Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

'It was a nightmare': Family recounts traumatic Squamish incident

A vehicle dragged a stroller with a baby inside it for blocks, while a grandmother faces a long recovery from head trauma.
Grandmother Carolyn, with her grandson Quinn were both hit by a vehicle while crossing a street in Squamish on April 22. Pictured here in December 2023.

On Monday, April 22, a driver struck a grandmother pushing a stroller crossing the road in Squamish, throwing her to the ground and dragging the stroller—baby still inside—for multiple city blocks.

Sara, who is the daughter of the woman struck, Carolyn, and the mother of the baby, Quinn—shared her family’s story in the hopes it can prevent anything like it happening to anyone else.

Sara, along with her parents and two of her three children, had flown to British Columbia from Ontario to be with her sister, who was due to welcome her first child within days.

She said her family was going for an after-dinner walk on Monday evening when tragedy struck.

“My mom was pushing Quinn in the stroller and they were going west on the south side of Pemberton Avenue. They were in the crosswalk on 2nd when the car heading south on 2nd struck her and the stroller,” she said.

Sara, her father, and her three-year-old were on the sidewalk, and saw it happen.

“It was a nightmare,” she said.

“My mom was lying in the street unconscious and bleeding from the head. Quinn and the stroller were totally missing.”

As it turns out, the stroller was lodged in the front of the vehicle that struck it, dragging it for streets as the driver fled the scene.

Bystanders leapt into action to find the stroller upon hearing Sara’s screams in the immediate aftermath, flooding the streets to search for, and eventually find, the vehicle with the stroller still wedged into the front of it near Pemberton Avenue and 4th Avenue.

Little Quinn was still inside, miraculously not seriously injured.

Sara said she had a lot of thanks to give to those who stepped up and helped her family in the chaos.

“Thank you to all the amazing bystanders who jumped into the street to help stabilize my mom and keep her warm,” she said.

“Thank you to the very brave person who pulled Quinn and the stroller from the vehicle and got him to safety. This is the same person who eventually connected the dots, found me, and ran me to my baby. I will never forget him.”

She also offered thanks to those who first found Quinn; who watched over her three-year-old and kept her husband updated by phone; and who drove her father to the hospital.

“Thank you to the many people in the Squamish community who have reached out with love, dropped off meals, sent messages and offered so many things to our family,” she said. “Thank you to the first responders and medical teams. Thank you to the friends and family back home who have been supporting us from afar. We are forever grateful.”

On the path to recovery

Baby Quinn didn’t suffer life-threatening injuries, but he didn’t escape the incident unscathed, with a bump on the head, bruising to his face and cuts on his tongue. He was flown down to the BC Children’s Hospital for a CT scan in the immediate aftermath of the incident, and according to those tests there was no bleeding inside his brain—but time will tell.

“We are very hopeful that he will make a full recovery,” said Sara.

For Sara’s mom, Carolyn, the journey to recovery is much longer, with fractures in her sacrum and her leg, and two areas of bleeding in her brain.

“Originally they were stable and we thought we’d be able to avoid brain surgery, but her symptoms have been getting worse over the past week, and her most recent CT scan indicates there is too much pressure in her brain,” said Sara.

Carolyn is scheduled for neurosurgery in coming days to remove a hematoma and relieve the pressure in her brain, and is being closely monitored in a Vancouver hospital.

In a sign of the trauma she sustained, Carolyn has no memory of the incident or the following day.

“We are hopeful that she will make a full recovery but she may have residual difficulties,” Sara said. “We won’t know until a few months after surgery.”

Whatever happens, Carolyn, who works as a rural family physician in Ontario, will not be able to return home for more than a month, and won’t be able to return to work for months more—a point Sara said showed the flow-on impact of the incident.

“Time off work affects the whole community, which, like most Canadian communities, is already experiencing a family doctor shortage,” she said.

Coming together

Sara’s entire family were shaken by the incident, which happened just as they were coming together to support one of their own in what should have been a time of celebration—her sister had her first child in the days after the incident, but her mother wasn’t able to be with her as planned.

Sara’s husband and her five-year-old child are now with them in British Columbia, while her brother flew all the way from Indonesia to support his mother.

While they were back and forth between Squamish and Vancouver in the aftermath, the family opted to stay in Vancouver, close to Carolyn, while she navigates her recovery in hospital in coming days. Eventually they hope to shift home base back to Squamish.

“Our motivation in sharing our story is to try to prevent this from happening to anyone else,” said Sara.

“There were lots of witnesses. Thank you to everyone who has shared video and given statements. If there is anyone who has not yet spoken to police but has information about the incident, please contact the Squamish police.”

The RCMP investigation into the incident—which took place at the intersection of Pemberton Avenue and 2nd Avenue in Squamish at 8:30 p.m. on Monday, April 22—is ongoing. The driver was arrested two blocks from the scene.

If you have information, call the Sea to Sky RCMP at the Squamish detachment at 604-892-6100.

The Squamish Chief has opted not to include surnames of those affected in this story, out of respect for the family’s privacy.