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Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February
Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier

It’s now five months since the mostly senior tenants living in Waneta Manor have gone without an elevator to carry them up the three-storey building to their apartments.

Read more: Trail tenants stranded by broken elevator going on 3 months

Many of those seniors and their family members have contacted the Times to give testimonials on how physically taxing it is for the tenants to carry on day-to-day affairs, like grocery shopping or going to appointments, then having to climbs stairs to their apartments.

Ken Hill took the Times on a top-to-bottom walk through a month ago to show just how difficult it was for the tenants, many of whom became apartment bound because the stairs proved too physically challenging to navigate.

Hill contact the newspaper last week with a very sad follow up.

“I just wanted to provide you with a rather heartbreaking, but absolutely true story,” Hill told Times.

He recounted walking from the basement up the stairs to his third floor flat the afternoon of [June 13] when he passed an older gentleman on the second floor landing.

The fellow tenant lived on the second floor and was on his way out for groceries.

Hill says the man stopped him to ask if he had any updates about the proposed elevator repairs.

“He told me that he was going to have to move,” Hill said. “He said the stairs were absolutely killing him.”

The same evening, Hill recalls taking a work request from another second-floor tenant down to the caretaker’s office when he was told the older gentleman appeared to have had a heart attack while returning home.

“He was down on the couch near the elevator door on the second floor,” Hill said.

“This lady had called for the ambulance and [the man] was not able to be revived.”

Later in the week, on June 17, the Trail detachment issued a media release, announcing the Trail RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of an elderly man late Sunday [June 13] evening.

Police say that night shortly after 8:30 p.m., the police station received a request to assist BC Emergency Health Services who had responded to a report of a man found to be unresponsive, and in medical distress inside a common area of an apartment building, located on the 3500-block of Laburnum Drive in Trail.

“Police were advised that emergency paramedics had sadly pronounced the Trail man in his 80’s deceased at the scene,” Sgt. Mike Wicentowich confirmed.

“The BC Coroners Service was notified and has launched its own concurrent fact-finding investigation into the man’s sudden death. Due to the privacy of the deceased, under the Coroner’s Act, neither agency will be releasing his name or confirming his identity.”

Police do not suspect that criminality was involved in the man’s death.

The RCMP continues to support the ongoing investigation being carried out by the BC Coroners Service.

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Sheri Regnier

About the Author: Sheri Regnier

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