Surrey Mounties are investigating the mysterious death of a 16-year-old boy who collapsed while riding on a so-called "party bus" in Surrey on Friday night.
Cpl. Bert Paquet said there is no evidence that the boy, identified as Ernest Azoadam, fell victim to foul play but the police continue to investigate whether any offences occurred under the Criminal Code, Liquor Control Act or Motor Vehicle Act.
"Evidence of alcohol was found on the bus, however, the exact cause of death is still unknown and an autopsy report is expected to be completed this week," Paquet said. "Certainly we have seen several incidents over the past few years involving party buses where police have had to get involved, but never with such tragic consequences.
"Unfortunately when you mix groups of young people with alcohol in a confined place for several hours it is often just a matter of time before police are called," Paquet said.
Roger Medor, owner of Favori Limousine Service, estimated that 25 people were on the bus. He said Azoadam boarded it at about 9:45 p.m. and about 10 minutes later, he collapsed.
Medor said the other teens on the bus asked the driver to pull over when Azoadam didn't come to. A B.C. Ambulance crew was called to a gas station in the 15200-block of 72nd Avenue. Azoadam was pronounced dead in hospital.
This wasn't the first time a party bus passing through Surrey has made headlines.
Last July Surrey Mounties were called in to sort out the aftermath of a spectacular brawl involving recent high school graduates and a motorist who crossed their path behind a Husky gas station in Cloverdale. In that case, a charter bus carrying about 50 young people during some kind of grad celebration made a pit stop at the Husky Station at 176th Street and Highway 10, after which all hell broke loose. Two people were stabbed, someone sprayed a cloud of pepper spray and four young men were struck with a two-by-four.
"This confrontation quickly escalated violently and was fueled by a toxic mix of alcohol, testosterone and poor judgment," Surrey RCMP Sgt, Drew Grainger said at the time.
- with a file by Jacob Zinn
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