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Mother of 2 from Mexico identified as victim of Vancouver crane tragedy

Click to play video: 'Husband of Oakridge crane accident victim speaks out'
Husband of Oakridge crane accident victim speaks out
The husband of the mother of two killed in a crane accident at a Vancouver construction site is speaking out about his family's tragedy. Troy Charles reports – Feb 23, 2024

The victim of a fatal crane accident at Vancouver’s Oakridge Park construction site has been identified as a mother of two from Mexico.

After years of trying, Yuridia Flores finally became a permanent resident of Canada in 2023.

Her first job was working as a labourer at the massive project at Cambie Street and 41st Avenue. Tragically it would also be her last.

Click to play video: 'Deadly crane incident at Oakridge construction site'
Deadly crane incident at Oakridge construction site

On Wednesday, a load broke free from one of the cranes at the site, falling hundreds of feet and fatally striking Flores.

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Daniel Hernandez, her common-law husband of eight years, said he had left his job as a glazer at the same site early for an appointment when he got the call no partner ever wants.

“I got a phone call saying Yuridia was hurt or someone was hurt and I needed to go back,” he told Global News.

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“I go there thinking that, like, I wanted it to be a joke. A prank, something like that.”

Hernandez arrived at the site to find the road blocked and emergency crews everywhere.

People were crying, and someone told him Flores had been struck and killed instantly.

Click to play video: 'Crane incident at Vancouver’s Oakridge Mall'
Crane incident at Vancouver’s Oakridge Mall

Hernandez was offered the chance to see her, but said he chose not to — fearing what he might see given the nature of the accident.

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“In that moment … my legs and everything didn’t feel right,” he said.

“I didn’t ask many questions, I was like, what am I going to do next? … How am I going to tell (her son) Diego, how am I going to tell the family?”

Hernandez had to go and pull Diego from a soccer practice to deliver the devastating news, and to tell him, “I will always have your back.”

“He started crying, he didn’t believe me,” he said, adding the 16-year-old wanted to go to the hospital to see her.

Neither of the two has yet had the chance to visit with Flores’ body, he said, which remains with the coroner pending an autopsy.

“I lost my opportunity to say goodbye,” he said, adding, “I don’t know if I am allowed” to see her.

Click to play video: 'B.C. construction industry safety record'
B.C. construction industry safety record

Diego’s older sister Ingrid is expected to fly into Vancouver from Mexico, where she lives, to take her mother back to their home city of Acapulco for a funeral.

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The family has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help them with the expenses.

The cause of the tragedy remains under investigation, and the construction site — which employs more than 1,700 workers — remains under a stop-work order from WorkSafeBC.

Hernandez said he doesn’t hold anger towards any individuals regarding the tragedy, but that he’s hopeful Flores’ death will be a powerful reminder about the need for workplace safety.

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