Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Police seize "Cash Cab" in probe of fatal accident

VANCOUVER, B.C. (Reuters) - Investigators have seized the taxi from the Canadian edition of the TV show "Cash Cab" to see if it had any mechanical defect that may have contributed to a fatal accident involving the vehicle, police said on Tuesday.
A member of the show's technical crew was driving the cab back to a storage facility shortly before midnight on Saturday after a day of filming when he ran into a 61-year-old man in a crosswalk in downtown Vancouver, city police said.

The pedestrian, a resident of Surrey, British Columbia, who was not identified, died early on Sunday.
Vancouver police constable Lindsey Houghton said the accident remained under investigation, and no charges have been brought. He said the driver was cooperating with police and there was no indication that alcohol or weather played a role in the tragedy.
Houghton said the area where the collision occurred was well lit and that the pedestrian, who was alone at the time, was in a marked crosswalk when he was struck.
The vehicle involved, actually a taxi cab replica, "looks exactly like a yellow cab would here in the city of Vancouver, except that it has some electronic equipment inside it that a normal taxi would not have," he told Reuters.
"We've since seized it for mechanical testing and all the usual testing we would do for an accident of this magnitude," he said, adding that investigators would look for possible defects, such as faulty brakes, that might have been a factor.
Separate versions of the popular television series "Cash Cab" air on the Discovery Channel in the United States and Canada.
The program features regular, unassuming taxi passengers who hail a ride in the Cash Cab only to discover that they have become instant contestants on the science-themed game show, hosted in Canada by comedian Adam Growe.
Asked if the confiscation of the vehicle would affect continuing production of the show, a Discovery Channel spokeswoman, Jodi Cook, declined to comment.
Andrew Burnstein, president of Castlewood Productions Inc., which makes the program, issued a written statement saying, "Our thoughts and prayers are with the victim and his friends and his family."
"My heart also goes out to the driver of the vehicle, a member of our technical staff, who is shaken and devastated by this tragic accident, as is our entire team," he said.
(Writing and additional reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)

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