Mission RCMP held a brief news conference this afternoon (June 6) to update the public on its investigation into an incident that saw four people struck by a vehicle during a march along Lougheed Highway.
On June 4, the March for Recognition, which raises awareness of residential schools, left Fraser River Heritage Park headed to the former site of St. Mary’s Residential School. According to the RCMP, at approximately 12:30 p.m. a man driving a pickup truck allegedly drove through part of the march hitting four people, before driving away.
The driver has now come forward to Mission RCMP, but is not being held in custody.
The Mission RCMP have seized the truck for examination, and the 77-year-old driver is “fully cooperating with the investigation,” according to the RCMP.
When asked, RCMP Const. Harrison Mohr said, “there is no indication at this time, from anything that was said at scene, or from the interview by the driver, that there is any bias or racism that played a role in this incident… if there is any evidence of that at any point, then that will factor into our charge recommendation.”
Police are asking for more information from the public, as they believe there are more witnesses that may have video footage.
When asked why no charges had been filed yet?, Mohr said the RCMP are “bound by the laws set out in the Criminal Code of Canada,” which has specific requirements on when they can make an arrest or when a person can be held in custody.
“At this point in the investigation, those parameters haven’t been met. That being said that doesn’t diminish the seriousness of the offence, or the investigation moving forward, or the likelihood of us recommending charges to Crown Counsel. Ultimately it’s not uncommon for charges to be recommended to Crown Counsel, before an arrest occurs.”
As for the injuries, which were described as minor, Mohr said he will leave it up to the main investigator to determine how to portray the injuries. If any of the injuries meet the definition of causing bodily harm, that will “impact our charge recommendation.”