“Mr. [Shafiqur] Rahman was respected as an excellent and professional chauffeur, who was well liked by his fellow chauffeurs, Aerocar’s staff and all who knew him,” the Limo company said in a release Sunday.
WHISTLER – Despite police saying the 19-year-old Calgary man who killed a South Asian Limo driver was on drugs at the time of him crashing into the oncoming limo – no charges were laid and “killer-driver” was released from police custody.
The killer, whose identity won’t be revealed until he is charged, is being investigated for impaired driving after Shafiqur Rahman, a 54-year-old limousine driver, was killed on B.C.’s Sea-to-Sky Highway on Saturday night.
The fatal two-vehicle crash happened around 11:30 p.m. near Whistler by Function Junction when a Dodge pick-up truck travelling northbound crossed the centre line and collided with a limousine heading in the opposite direction, according to RCMP.
Rahman, who worked for Aerocar Serivce in Richmond, died after the limousine exploded and became engulfed in flames. The victim was the only person inside the vehicle at the time of the accident.
“This is a terrible tragedy that resulted in the death of an innocent driver,” RCMP Sgt. Peter Thiessen said. “The family of the deceased victim has been affected for a lifetime and will never be the same.”
The 19-year-old driver was arrested at the crash site and treated for minor injuries but was released the next day.
“He is currently being investigated for impaired driving by drug, not by alcohol,” Thiessen told CTV News. “Which is something that is not spoken of or highlighted very often in the public, but it’s something that our officers deal with many times.”
Police do not know what type of drug the young man was using, but a drug recognition expert led investigators to believe he was in fact impaired.
Thiessen added that proving someone is driving under the influence of a drug is more difficult than proving they are drunk, but it is still a criminal offence.
Rahman was returning to Vancouver after dropping off passengers in Whistler, Aerocar Services spokeswoman Doreen Ram said.
“Mr. Rahman was respected as an excellent and professional chauffeur, who was well liked by his fellow chauffeurs, Aerocar’s staff and all who knew him,” the company said in a media release Sunday afternoon.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, two sons and extended family, friends and colleagues at this difficult time.”
Rahman’s fellow chauffeurs have come together and begun fundraising efforts on behalf of the family, Ram said, and donations from the community are being accepted.
The company will set up a trust fund at the Bank of Montreal for the family.