A much-loved community member, wife and mother perished in a tragic traffic accident last week in Brackendale.
Tanya Lee Boudewyn, 44, was killed last Thursday (Nov. 1) in a two-vehicle collision at the intersection of Government and Depot roads. A man who was driving the other vehicle when the collision occurred was transported to Vancouver General Hospital in critical condition after the crash, RCMP Sgt. Wayne Pride wrote in a statement.
The crash prompted authorities to close the intersection of the two roads for several hours while police investigated.
The crash occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. When The Chief arrived at the scene 30 minutes later, the intersection was surrounded by police vehicles and police marking tape. Officers were on the scene directing traffic and interviewing witnesses.
Five days after the crash, a makeshift shrine to Boudewyn had been erected at the base of a power pole near where her vehicle came to rest. Above several flower arrangements were a pair of photos of Boudewyn, along with a message, “Dearly loved, missed, but will never be forgotten.”
Elaine Casey, who lives two doors south of the intersection where the crash occurred, told The Chief on Friday (Nov. 2) that the tragedy had left her in shock. She said she had known Boudewyn (nee Patterson) “since she was a little girl.”
“She knew my son really well,” Casey said. “She was a very lovely girl.”
Boudewyn is survived by her husband Peter, children Madison Jean Lee and Mallory Barbara Boudewyn, mother Diane Patterson, father Ron Patterson and brothers Dean and Terry Patterson. A memorial is planned on Friday (Nov. 9) at noon at the West Coast Railway Heritage Park.
Police are still investigating the cause of the crash, but many people went online or spoke to The Chief about perceived safety issues at the Government-Depot intersection. Some suggested that traffic pattern changes — either a four-way stop, flashing red and yellow lights or even a full set of traffic lights — are needed to slow down vehicles on Government Road to reduce the odds of future crashes.
Frank St-Amand, who lives on Tantalus Road, said he thinks a four-way stop is the answer.
“I think a four-way stop sign would work wonders in that area. It’s becoming more of a high traffic area, and when you come to that intersection at the same time as someone else, it’s a tricky situation,” St-Amand said.
Mayor Rob Kirkham said he was “deeply saddened” by the tragedy and expressed his condolences to Boudewyn’s family.
He said District of Squamish officials “will use this [police] investigation to guide our actions and review of the traffic management plan at that intersection. It is imperative that we look at the facts to understand how this happened, and to determine a need for the implementation of any additional measures to address traffic safety concerns.”