Elevator mechanic was ‘the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back’, brother-in-law says
The Vancouver Police Department said Anthony “Tony” Eyles, 42, died on 8 September.
The father of two from Maple Ridge, British Columbia was leaning out of his vehicle to pick up his payment card that fell to the ground as he was trying to pay for his order at the fast-food restaurant in downtown Vancouver when the car started moving and crushed him to death.
The police department said in a statement that security footage shows that when Mr Eyles opened the car door to pick up the card “the vehicle rolled forward, colliding into a structural piece of the restaurant. The driver was unable to free himself from the vehicle as he was pinned between the vehicle door and frame”.
“Efforts were made by first responders to revive the man, but tragically, he died on scene,” Constable Tania Visintin said in a statement. “This is an absolutely heartbreaking scenario. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of this man.”
Local outlets reported that colleagues and family of Mr Eyles raised tens of thousands of dollars for his wife and children. As of Wednesday morning, a GoFundMe set up by coworkers of Mr Eyles had raised $54,640 CAD ($43,112 USD).
“Tony was an amazing husband, father, friend, and coworker. I know that money will not change what happened but I am hoping that we can at least help the family out through this hard financial time. You will be missed Tony, truly a great guy,” the page set up by Chris Potter said.
A separate GoFundMe launched by friends of the family had raised $59,240 CAD ($46,739 USD).
Neal Pender, the brother-in-law of Mr Eyles, told CTV that he was “the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back”.
“He was just the most doting father and the most loving husband … he was just the perfect guy,” Mr Pender added. He said Mr Eyles worked as an elevator mechanic, a job that would often bring him to downtown Vancouver from his home east of the city.
“The kids are understandably not fully grasping it. We’ve just tried to surround them with as much family as we can,” Mr Pender told CTV.