RCMP recommend criminal negligence charge after finishing Kelowna crane collapse investigation

Police recommend charge

Police have completed their investigation into the collapse of the 2021 downtown Kelowna crane collapse and have recommended a charge of criminal negligence causing death.

The move signals that the RCMP has concluded its investigation and they have submitted the file to the BC Prosecution Service for charge assessment.

The BC Prosecution Service will make the ultimate decision on whether charges are laid. Policy dictates that charges are only approved if Crown counsel feels there is a likelihood of conviction and that it is in the public interest.

Five men died in the crane collapse on the morning of July 12, 2021 at the Mission Group's Brooklyn at Bernard Block project on St. Paul Street. The Stemmer Construction crane collapsed during the dismantling process, killing construction workers Cailen Vilness, Jared Zook, and Patrick and Eric Stemmer.

Brad Zawislak, who was working in an adjacent building, was also killed by the crane crashing down onto his office.

Kelowna RCMP says they will be working closely with the BCPS to ensure they are best equipped on the facts of the case to make an informed decision on charges.

“This investigation included dozens of police officers and countless hours of evidence gathering and analysis,” said Kelowna Supt. Kara Triance.

“The gravity of this incident and the associated work to understand what happened has been tremendous. We will work to support our partners and our community through the next steps.”

Police did not say who they recommended be charged, but in B.C. both a company itself and its managers can be charged for criminal negligence in a workplace death.

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