The driver of the alleged hit and run over the weekend at the March for Recognition has come forward to Mission RCMP, but is not being held in custody.
Mission RCMP said in a June 6 press release that they have seized the truck for examination, and the 77-year-old driver is “fully cooperating with the investigation.”
The June 4 march blocked the eastbound lane on Lougheed Highway as the group of marchers left Heritage Park headed to the former site of St. Mary’s Residential School. At approximately 12:30 p.m. the incident occurred.
“RCMP was called by a bystander after it appeared as though a fight was about to break out,” the press release says. “When police arrived, they learned that a man driving a pickup truck had driven up through part of the demonstration, allegedly hitting four people while doing so, before driving away.”
Const. Harrison Mohr with Mission RCMP said the driver has been interviewed, which has helped advance the investigation, but that more details are needed. He added that no 911 calls were made about a truck driving through the marchers.
Mohr said they are asking for more information from the public, as they believe there are more witnesses that may have video footage. Investigators are also looking to speak with the driver of a single-unit dump truck or semi truck that was driving behind the incident.
Mohr said police are gathering evidence to “bring some answers and some closure to everyone involved.” He said that they want to present the best evidence possible to the Crown for potential charges.
“Like any criminal investigation, we need to let the evidence guide the investigation.”
A previous June 5 press release from the Mission RCMP has now been deleted. It contained comments that the driver may have been upset about being delayed and was trying to get around the marchers, but had crashed into the group when faced with oncoming traffic.
Yesterday (June 5), Mohr said in an email that investigators had not yet spoken with the driver, but were looking at a range of potential offences including dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, and failing to stop at the scene of an accident, adding he could face charges under the criminal code.
“When our officers do interview the suspect, they will certainly be interested in hearing directly from him about what his intentions were that day,” Mohr said.