WATCH: There are calls for B.C’s seniors advocate to launch a review into the death of a Second World War veteran during the blackout. Rumina Daya reports.
This weekend’s power outage was part of a set of circumstances that led up to the death of a 93-year-old Second World War veteran.
Percy Bowen had been trying to navigate the stairwell in his Port Coquitlam retirement home when he fell to his death.
Bowen decided to go down four flights of stairs in the dark after the elevators stopped working due to the massive power outage that affected hundreds of thousands of customers.
“He was taking his dog out for a walk and decided to take the stairs with a headlamp on and fell down and hit his head,” said granddaughter Carrie Pratt.
Bowen was apparently discovered by a worker yesterday at the RJ Kent seniors home. Bowen’s loved ones said he suffered major head trauma and died in hospital.
“I’m angry,” said granddaughter Alexis. “You put the health of someone you love in someone’s hands and they just treat them like this. He would [be] alive right now if it wasn’t for the staircase being dark.”
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After first declining comment, an official eventually answered questions from Global News.
“All residents were escorted and were advised to stay in their suites,” said manager Amanda List. “If they needed somebody they needed to wait for an escort.”
When asked if RJ Kent were to take any responsibility for the fall, List declined to comment, describing the incident as a “tragic accident.”
Bowen’s family is being joined by a longtime care home operator is calling on B.C.’s seniors’ watchdog to investigate emergency protocols at these type of facilities.
Al Jina of Park Place Seniors Living said B.C.’s Office of the Seniors Advocate should consider investigating the case.
“Even though it’s an independent living facility and even though Mr. Bowen was allowed to live at risk, because of what has occurred, certainly the seniors advocate can review. We should always look at seeing how we can do things better.”
-With files from Rumina Daya