A Zambian Engineer based in Vancouver, Canada died in a hit-and-run crash at the base of Burnaby Mountain.
Charles Masala, 53 is a professional engineer who went to extraordinary lengths to promote education in Zambia.
Charles Masala, 53, was killed Saturday afternoon while riding his bike in the 1500-block of the road that leads up to Simon Fraser University on Burnaby Mountain.
A black Jeep Cherokee SUV left the scene but was located shortly after on University High Street and Tower Road where the driver was arrested, the RCMP said in a news release on Tuesday.
No charges have been laid, but police said “it is believed that alcohol was a contributing factor.”
The investigation continues.
Masala was riding his bike along Gaglardi Road when he was struck by an SUV on June 29.
He didn’t survive his injuries.
Friends have created a makeshift memorial for the father of two, according to Global B.C. News.
In 1989, Masala graduated from the University of Zambia with a bachelor’s of engineering degree.
A year later, he obtained a master’s degree from the University of New Castle Upon Tyne.
In 1995 after moving to Canada, he graduated from the University of British Columbia with a master’s degree of applied science and has been an engineer since then.
According to the Association of Engineers and Geoscientists of B.C. website, Masala worked for Klohn Crippen Berger Ltd. in Vancouver.
His primary area of expertise was water resources, and he had secondary expertise in hydrology.
“I have been directly involved in studies relating to mine water management, including water quality and characterization, surface water management and design, and water treatment in North and South America,” Masala wrote in a 2016 technical report on a feasibility study for the Fruta del Norte project in Ecuador.
Masala was widely admired for his efforts to give students in his native Zambia an opportunity to succeed in life.
In 2006 while living in Seattle, he wanted to help a volunteer group that was offering classroom education to a few dozen students near where he grew up.
Masala and some friends launched the Dwankhozi Hope organization to raise funds for this initiative.
It now offers education to 600 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 9 in the Dwankhozi community school, according to the group’s website.
“Our work has grown to address community health projects, sustainable economic projects, adult education—and recently the construction of a local high school for graduated students in the area,” it states. “Dwankhozi Hope is not about charity. It’s about justice.”
In 2010, Masala went on a nearly 2,000-kilometre bike ride to raise funds for Dwankhozi Hope, a Zambian organization that runs a school for 600 students from pre-kindergarten to grade 9.
After Masala was struck and killed, Burnaby RCMP detained a vehicle at the top of Burnaby Mountain.
As of this writing, there’s no word on whether any charges have been laid against the driver or any passengers.