The grieving family of a 23-year-old Langley woman killed in a party bus accident says Chelsea Lynn Mist James was on the bus to be safe.
James died after she fell out of an open door when the bus turned from West Hastings to Burrard Street on Saturday in Vancouver.
She was attending a birthday party, the family said, and the bus was hired so no one would drink and drive.
“We can’t fathom how she did everything right to be safe and responsible, and yet still lost her life,” mother Shelly James said during an interview aired by CTV News Vancouver.
It’s not clear why the door was open.
The accident is under investigation by the B.C. Coroner’s Service and Vancouver police.
Her family said James worked as an assistant teacher and was described as passionate about her job.
Shelly James said her daughter “had a beautiful spirit.”
“She shone like a diamond with her smile,” James told CTV News.
“Everyone who knew her loved her. She will be sadly missed and will leave a hole in our lives forever.”
It is not the first time a party bus passenger has been injured falling out a door.
In June of 2010, two women fell from a bus in Langley at the intersection of Hwy. 10 and Fraser Highway.
One was transported to hospital for treatment of a head injury.
The second did not appear to be injured in any way.
Witnesses said the door opened as the bus executed a left turn.
An inspector for the Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement Branch ordered a mechanical inspection.
About two hours after the fall, the injured girl’s condition was upgraded to stable and recovering.
— with files from CTV News and Monique Tamminga