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UPDATE: Driver turns himself in residential school march investigation

(UPDATE: Jun. 6 @ 12:30 pm) – A 77-year-old driver who reportedly hit four people with his vehicle during a residential school awareness march on Saturday, June 4 has come forward to Mission RCMP.

During the March of Recognition for Residential Schools, a group of people were crossing Highway 7 to the site of the former St. Mary’s Residential School.

As the group proceeded across the highway, the driver switched lanes, into oncoming traffic and drove his vehicle into the midst of the march before pulling back into the eastbound lane.

In doing so, the driver made contact with four people. Two of them went to the hospital for treatment for their injuries.

A video shared on June 4 by march participant Robert Jago on behalf of another participant, shows the truck appearing to run through the group as they are crossing the highway before stopping,. The driver pokes his head out and then drives away.

According to the police, the man is now cooperating with the investigation.

However, he is not in custody at this time and charges have not been recommended but his vehicle has been seized for examination.

The police detachment says they will continue to look for additional witnesses and evidence, including the driver of a dump truck that was behind the blue Chevrolet Silverado pickup that belongs to the 77-year-old driver.

"Like any criminal investigation, we need to let the evidence guide the investigation, and that’s why we’re continuing to ask for more witnesses to come forward,” says Cst. Mohr.

“We want to ensure that we present the best evidence possible for charge assessment by crown counsel."

In a statement released on Sunday, the City of Mission condemned the act.

“This is an upsetting and unacceptable outcome to a peaceful march to bring awareness to the ongoing impacts of displacing and separating whole generations of children from their families, Elders, culture, and homes when they were forced to attend St. Mary’s residential school in Mission,” reads the statement.

“This behaviour is not a reflection of who we are here in Mission or what we aspire to be.”


(Original Story: June 5 @ 3 pm) – Mission RCMP are investigating an incident that resulted in four people being hit by a vehicle, two of which were sent to the hospital, during a march to bring awareness to residential schools.

On Saturday, June 4, a group was participating in the March of Recognition for Residential Schools, organized by the Crazy Indians Brotherhood BC chapter.

The march began at Mission’s Heritage Park and proceeded to the former St. Mary's Residential School, along a two kilometre stretch of Highway 7.

Mission RCMP say that the group briefly delayed eastbound traffic along the highway and they responded to the area.

However, pictures shared by participant Robert Jago show that the group of a couple dozen people had a traffic control person in place to allow the group to cross the highway towards the former school.

Police say it appears the driver became upset due to the delay and drove into oncoming traffic in an attempt to get around the group.

"When faced with oncoming traffic, he drove his vehicle into the midst of the group until the cars went by, then pulled out and passed again. In doing so, he struck several members of the march," says Cst. Harrison Mohr with Mission RCMP.

The driver made contact with four people, including the traffic control person and one of the organizers. Two people were sent to the hospital to receive treatment for their injuries.

“I was doing traffic control and the truck had speeded up and there were children in the right hand lane,” explains Troy Ingraldi, one of the participants.

“I wanted to make sure the children were fine so I stepped in front of the vehicle. He stopped (then) continued to go and that’s when he ran me over.”

Mission RCMP claim that they do not believe the incident was targeted and said the driver was "impatient."

A video shared by Jago, on behalf of another march participant, shows the man stopping briefly and poking his head out the window towards the crowd. It is unclear if he was yelling or speaking to the crowd but he failed to remain on the scene.

Police have not made any arrests, however, witnesses were able to provide the police with a licence plate number and vehicle description.

"Trying to save a few minutes of time by endangering the lives of others is simply unacceptable," says Cst Mohr.

Thumbnail Photo Credit: Courtesy of @rjjago via Twitter



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