The 40-year-old construction worker, who had never left Poland before, was immigrating to Canada to join his mother, 61, who lives in Kamloops, about a five-hour drive from Vancouver.Link
They had arranged to meet at the baggage carousel in the international terminal at YVR....
Mr. Dziekanski arrived at about 3 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 14.
"He made his way to primary customs in the ordinary fashion … he went through there in the normal time frame … he then proceeded through and was directed to secondary customs, which is normal for someone who doesn't speak English and is immigrating to the country," Mr. Kosteckyj said. His papers were in order and he proceeded without difficulty.
But what happened after that was far from normal. For nearly 10 hours, Mr. Dziekanski stayed in the Arrivals Hall, growing increasingly frustrated and eventually becoming frantic.
Outside, in the public area, his mother spent nearly six hours pacing the corridors and, in broken English, asking airport officials for help in locating her son.
Mr. Kosteckyj said she visited one booth in international arrivals "at least three to four times and conveyed to them that she was concerned about her son being in the area and she wanted to get a message to him and how could she do that? They wrote her name down and said that they would make inquiries."
At about 10 p.m., she was told he wasn't there. She made the long drive home, only to find a phone message waiting, saying her son had been found.
"She called back to immigration when she got in, which would have been around 2 a.m., and spoke to someone there and was advised that her son was somewhere in the area and was fine. And she advised, you know, 'Please take care of him because he can't speak English and I'll get there as soon as I can.' And of course he had died, been killed really, some time on or about 1 or 1:30," Mr. Kosteckyj said.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.