Mourning family members of Preshendra Pillay feel his sudden death could have been prevented if emergency officials had arrived sooner.
The 40-year-old was found bloodied and beaten in the entryway of an apartment on 79 Avenue and 71 Street July 7.
Family members and tenants rushed to his aid. An ambulance — which relatives say didn’t arrive for 45 minutes — transported him to hospital.
“I kept saying to the operator we needed someone ASAP,” a relative said. “What took them so long? It makes me feel sick to my stomach.”
She placed the original 9-1-1 call at 10:20 p.m. and says crews didn’t arrive until after 11 p.m.
Though he was speaking coherently following the attack, his skull was cracked. He died in hospital surrounded by family the next day.
“The surgeon said they couldn’t stop the bleeding,” the relative said.
Police still consider Pillay’s death suspicious, not homicide, though homicide detectives are investigating. An autopsy was completed, yet officials have not released the cause of death.
EPS spokesman Dean Parthenis said police are double-checking their response times, and that the original 9-1-1 call may not have been considered high priority.
“Everyone should be treated as one, whether it’s assault or murder,” the relative said.
“Everything is done, he died. We just don’t want it to happen to someone else.”
Alberta Health Services spokeswoman Sheila Rougeau said though they won’t release specific details on how long it took EMS to get to Pillay, average response time is around nine minutes.
“I’m a mother, and have been in trying situations and know sometimes it seems like it’s a much longer time than it really is,” she said. “I’m not saying that’s what happened, because I don’t know, but I think it’s important the family find out the truth.”
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