Saanich police continue to assist investigation into the death of a jail worker in his 60s on the grounds of the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre in Saanich Facebook photo/Koa Barroeta

UPDATED: Correction worker dies at Saanich jail

Investigators say death was non-violent in ruling out any connection to inmates

The corrections worker who died in Saanich Wednesday was a man in his 60s.

While several aspects of the incident remain unanswered, officials investigating the case stress that the location of his work — Saanich’s Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre – did not contribute.

“There is no suggestion this had anything to do with the fact that this was a jail, or that inmates were involved, or anything like that,” said Barb McLintock, coroner, with Coroners Service of British Columbia.

McLintock said her office is investigating the incident, but much work remains. “We are aware of this incident and are investigating, but everything is quite preliminary as yet,” she said.

Co-workers found the man shortly after 1 p.m. yesterday outside on the grounds of the jail, said McLintock. “Unfortunately he could not be resuscitated,” she said. “WorkSafe BC is also very much involved in this investigation.”

The Saanich News has reached out WorkSafe BC for additional information, but still awaits a response.

Trish Knight Chernecki, senior manager, media and government relations, for WorkSafe BC, said Thursday the investigation is on-going, but could not offer any additional info in light of that investigation. Yesterday she confirmed that the incident involved farm machinery.

“Today, a dedicated veteran correctional officer at Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre lost his life while at work,” said Mike Farnworth, minister of public safety and solicitor general.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family members, friends and workmates of their colleague at this difficult time,” he said. “This is a very heartbreaking situation and everyone at BC Corrections is feeling the tremendous impact of the loss of one of their own.”

BC Corrections has been in contact with the Saanich Police Department, WorkSafeBC and the BC Coroners Service in relation to this tragic incident, and will co-operate fully with any and all related investigations,” said Farnworth.

“Out of respect for the family and their privacy, we will not be providing any further information at this time,” he said.

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