Brandon Jansen.

Specialized coroners unit to probe drug deaths

Following recent government funding, the BC Coroners Service has formed a new investigation team to combat illicit drug overdoses.

The BC Coroners Service has formed a specialized investigation team to combat the growing numbers of illicit drug overdose deaths in the province.

The announcement of a new Coroners Service Drug Death Investigation Team was made by chief coroner Lisa Lapointe Tuesday morning, as a way to provide enhanced investigations into accidental illicit drug deaths, and to identify trends and patterns to support prevention efforts.

“Along with our health, community and law enforcement partners, the BC Coroners Service has been deeply concerned about the rising number of illicit drug deaths in our province,” Lapointe said.

According to most recent coroners statistics, 555 B.C. residents have died between January and September from illicit drug overdoses – surpassing the 508 lives lost to drug overdoses in all of 2015.

The team’s work will be funded as part of the $10 million announced by Premier Christy Clark last month.

During Tuesday’s announcement, Lapointe also said there will be a public inquest into the death of Brandon Juhani Jansen in the New Year.

Jansen, 20, of Coquitlam, died while a resident at a substance-abuse treatment centre in Powell River in the early morning hours of March 7.

“A public inquest will provide another avenue to explore some of the issues we have found arising in these deaths and, it is hoped, for a well-informed jury to make practical and useful recommendations to help prevent similar deaths in the future,” Lapointe said.

At the inquest, set for Jan. 16, 2017, presiding coroner Michael Egilson and a jury will hear evidence from witnesses under oath to determine the facts surrounding this death.

Just Posted

Semiahmoo students to raise awareness about acid throwing

The Grade 11 students are to host a fundraiser for victims

Maritimers bring taste of Atlantic Ocean to South Surrey

Maritime Seafoods owner says they cut out the middleman

VIDEO: Surrey Vaisakhi Parade floods Newton streets

Hundreds of thousands of people attended the annual event

Easter ‘eggstravaganza’ event planned for South Surrey

Event is to run from 12-3 p.m. at Dufferin Park (17355 2 Ave.).

Four Surrey students head to New Brunswick for Canada-wide science fair

Three projects move to nationals following regional fair at KPU

‘No answers:’ Canadians react to Sri Lanka bombings that killed hundreds

The co-ordinated bomb attacks killed at least 207 people and injured 450 more on Easter Sunday

RCMP confirm witnesses say body found at Kelowna’s Gyro Beach

Police tape is blocking part of the beach and several RCMP officers are on scene.

Police say ‘no major incidents’ at 4/20, Vancouver Park Board assessing

The first smoke-out held since legalization saw 60,000 people at Vancouver’s Sunset Beach

VIDEO: Langley firefighters spend hours battling blaze in vacant home

Cause of the late-night fire in Willoughby is still under investigation

B.C. fire department rescues kittens

Enderby homeowner not aware kittens in wood pile near garbage pile fire that got out of hand

RCMP looking for witnesses to four-vehicle crash in Burnaby

Police suspect impaired driving was a contributing factor

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Most Read