Fatal injuries discovered after SUV crash indicative of foul play: IHIT
A 34-year-old educational assistant and mother who died following an SUV crash in Burnaby, B.C. last week suffered wounds that were "indicative of foul play," according to homicide investigators.
Nicole Hasselmann and an unidentified man were both found injured after a 2017 Kia Sorrento crashed into a lamp post near Barnet Highway and Texaco Drive around 10 p.m. Friday.
They were rushed to hospital but Hasselmann did not survive, and on Monday the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team described the circumstances of her death as suspicious.
"The man is expected to make a full recovery but the woman … had injuries indicative of foul play," IHIT said in a statement. "This incident is not believed to be random and there appears to be no risk to public safety."
Authorities have not shared any further details about the fatal injuries suffered by Hasselmann, who was found in a ditch at the crash site. Over the weekend, police said it appeared she had been ejected from the SUV.
The survivor was found unresponsive inside the Sorrento and had to be pulled out by first responders.
On Monday, there were flowers laid at the scene for Hasselmann, who lived in Burnaby but worked as a special education assistant with the Vancouver School District.
"It's very sad news. We do extend our most heartfelt condolences to family and friends," said Patricia MacNeil from the Vancouver School Board.
Hasselman is being remembered by those who knew her as a great mother and a good friend.
"She's really going to be missed, she was such a breath of fresh air, always had a smile on her face, always gave you a hug when she'd seen you," her friend Sue Kuharski told CTV News.
Monday, friends of Hasselman gathered at a Burnaby pub where she'd worked for eight years.
"She was my neighbour too, so I'd see her in the driveway and wave," Kuharski said.
"She's going to be missed, big time," friend Phil Franchewski said.
IHIT said investigators are working to develop a timeline of her whereabouts on Friday, and looking to speak with anyone who saw Hasselmann or the charcoal grey SUV at three locations: the 7000 block of Ridgeview Drive and 8000 block of Barnet Highway in Burnaby, or the 200 block of College Park Way in Port Moody.
"The development of the victim's timeline is important in any homicide investigation and it is proving to be crucial in this case," Cpl. Frank Jang said in a statement.
IHIT is working with Burnaby RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the BC Coroners Service on its investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-4448, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Emad Agahi