Police have laid charges against a young Vancouver man one year after two University of British Columbia students were struck and killed by a driver while on a sidewalk near campus.
Tim Carl Robert Goerner, 22, is accused of impaired and dangerous driving cause death.
On Sept. 26, 2021 at about 1:46 a.m., 18-year-olds Evan Smith and Emily Selwood were walking along the sidewalk of North West Marine Drive near the UBC campus when they were struck. They were pronounced dead at the scene and a 21-year-old – presumably Goerner – was arrested on the spot. He was taken to hospital with minor injuries.
In response to the laying of charges Thursday (Sept. 8), both Evan and Emily’s families released statements.
“Let us tell you that nothing prepares you for the notification of your child’s death, especially one that was so avoidable,” Emily’s parents Laurie and Duncan Selwood said. “Our family’s hope is that the individual responsible will be brought to justice on fact and evidence with a successful conviction; however, that will not bring Emily and Evan back.”
Emily was studying social sciences at UBC at the time of her death. She grew up on Vancouver Island and graduated from St. Michaels University School in Greater Victoria where she rowed. Her parents say she loved the outdoors and spending time with family and friends.
“Emily was a loyal and loving daughter, sister, and friend. Her bright light will be missed,” her parents said.
Evan was attending UBC as an out-of-province student from Ontario, studying applied science and engineering. His parents had dropped him off at school just three weeks before he was killed.
“In that terrible moment, because of someone’s deliberate decision to drive after drinking, our son’s lifelong plans, dreams and goals will never be realized. This heinous act of selfishness and stupidity made our worst nightmare come true,” his parents Debbie O’Day-Smith and Adam Smith said in their own statement.
Like Emily, Evan was also a lover of the outdoors. His parents said he loved rock climbing, camping and paddling. He was also a volunteer with Scouts Canada and a drummer.
“He was a loyal friend and a wonderful son and brother. His positive attitude, playful competitiveness and humble disposition left a mark on everyone he came across. We couldn’t be more proud of the young man he became” his parents said.
“In the days to come, we hope for a successful conviction against the suspect. However, no matter the outcome, our hearts will forever be broken.”
Goerner’s trial will be heard at the Richmond Provincial Courthouse.