Burnaby woman killed in suspicious crash was student support worker at Templeton secondary

Police now believe Nicole Porciello was the victim of a homicide

A Burnaby woman killed in a suspicious crash on Barnet Highway Friday was a student support worker at Templeton secondary school in Vancouver.

Nicole Porciello, who also went by the last name Hasselmann, died over the weekend after a single-vehicle crash Friday night. First responders were called to the 8000-block of Barnet Highway around 10 p.m. after an SUV hit two light posts and crashed into the ditch. Burnaby RCMP arrived to find a man unconscious inside the vehicle. Porciello was lying nearby, it appeared that she had been thrown from the vehicle during the crash, police said in a press release.

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Burnaby RCMP initially reported that the crash was suspicious and that the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) had been deployed to help investigate. Police have since confirmed that Porciello’s injuries were “indicative of foul play.”

Porciello was a student support worker at Templeton secondary school and counsellors from the Vancouver School District’s critical incident team were at the school Monday to “provide additional support to our students and staff who have been affected,” Patricia MacNeil, district spokesperson, said in an email.  “They will be also available in the coming days to provide support, as it is needed,” she said. “Information and resources for parents/guardians on ways to support their child through time of grief is being provided.”

The school’s parent advisory council tweeted Sunday that Porciello was “dearly loved by all who knew & interacted with her…”

“District staff and the Templeton community wishes to extend our support and condolences to the family,” MacNeil said.

IHIT is asking for the public’s help to develop a timeline of Porciello’s activities leading up to the crash.

“The development of the victim’s timeline is important in any homicide investigation and it is proving to be crucial in this case,” IHIT spokesperson Cpl. Frank Jang said in the release.

Anyone who may have seen her on Friday in Burnaby in the 700-block of Ridgeview Drive, the 8000-block of Barnet Highway, or in Port Moody in the 200-block of College Park Way is asked to contact the IHIT tip line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or by email at ihitinfo@ramp-grc.gc.ca.

Anyone who saw the vehicle Porciello was in, which is described as a 2017 charcoal grey KIA Sorento SUV, at any of those locations are also asked to contact investigators.

The driver’s identity has not been released, but police said he and Porciello knew each other. He remains in hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.

@JessicaEKerr

With files from Cayley Dobie, Burnaby Now

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