Two people were injured after being struck by a falling statue this afternoon (September 28).
At about noon, the work of art, known as The Golden Tree, was being moved from Mission artist Dean Lauze’s home on Tumbridge Avenue, when it broke loose from its support and crashed off the truck and onto the road.
Ambulance and fire crews were on scene. While the injuries are serious, they are not believed to be life threatening.
“We had two lifting points that were welded onto the structure and as we lifted it up, one broke loose. We thought it was on there great,” explained Lauze.
“It might be heavier than we thought, it’s hard to say.”
One of the people injured is a neighbour who volunteered his time to help move the tree. The other is the truck driver for T-Lane, the transport company that donated its time to move the artwork.
Lauze said today was supposed to be an “exciting day” for everyone involved in the project, but “things change real fast.”
He added that, despite the injuries and some damage to the sculpture, it will still be moved today in order to be ready for Saturday’s unveiling.
The Golden Tree will be located at Abbotsford’s International Friendship Garden on the north side of Clearbrook Library, at 32320 George Ferguson Way.
It was created through donated funds.
The tree is a memorial to honour three women and other farmworkers killed or injured on the job.
Eight years ago, a van transporting farmworkers crashed and killed three women on Highway 1 in Abbotsford
Sarbjit Kaur Sidhu, Amarjit Bal, and Sukhvinder Kaur Punja were killed when the van they were traveling in flipped early in the morning of March 7, 2007. Despite carrying 17 passengers, the van had just two seatbelts, one seat consisted only of a wooden bench and its tires were in poor condition and not properly inflated. Police at the time described the crash as “catastrophic.”
For more information, visit www.goldentree.ca.