MISSION, BRITISH COLUMBIA-Two men say they were struck by a truck while participating in a residential school march in Mission, B.C., and they want to see the driver found and charged.
Troy Ingraldi and Ashton Edwards said they were taking part Saturday in a march calling for a search of the former St. Mary’s
residential school grounds for unmarked graves, when they allege a driver behind the group became belligerent.
Ingraldi said he was helping direct traffic at the rear of the demonstration when he became aware of the driver, a man who appeared to be in his 60s, in a pickup truck.
“I was letting traffic go slow behind us while we marched slowly and a driver got impatient,” Ingraldi said.
Ingraldi alleges the truck pulled into a turnout and spun his tires before trying to pass the group on the shoulder. Ingraldi said he tried to stop the truck because there were children and elders around, and the man began yelling expletives and telling the group they shouldn’t be on the road, becoming increasingly agitated.
“He’s like, ‘I’ll run you off the road or run anybody I want off this road,’ and he proceeded into his truck. That’s when he ended up hitting me with the front driver side of his vehicle,” Ingraldi said.
“It kind of dragged me a little bit underneath and then pushed me off to the side of the truck.”
Ingraldi was taken to the hospital after the incident and says he suffered soft tissue damage, a cut lip and minor concussion.
Edwards, who was helping run the march as part of the Crazy Indians Brotherhood, said he heard on a hand-held radio that Ingraldi had been hit and then he saw the truck.
“I could see him behind us, driving aggressively weaving in and out,” Edwards said.
When the truck drove toward Edwards and a group of others, a man in front of him jumped up, bending over the hood, Edwards said.
Edwards tried to pull the man off the hood and that’s when he was struck too, spinning him around, he said. The truck then drove away, he said.
Edwards, who said he was bruised and sore, also went to the hospital but later decided to make a doctor’s appointment instead.
He said he’s shaken thinking about how more people could have been hurt more seriously, had things gone slightly differently.
“This was an aggressive and dangerous driver and I really hope he gets charged,” Edwards said.
The allegations have not been proven in court.
RCMP say in a news release the truck made contact with a total of four people and describe the injuries as minor.
No one is in custody and officers are gathering as much evidence as possible to determine the appropriate charges to recommend, the release says.
It describes the man at the wheel as “an impatient driver” who tried to get around a group into oncoming traffic, then pointed the vehicle into the group while cars went by.
There’s no indication the incident was targeted, or that the driver’s actions had anything specifically to do with the people marching or their cause, it says.
“Trying to save a few minutes of time by endangering the lives of others is simply unacceptable,” Const. Harrison Mohr said in the release.
Neither Edwards nor Ingraldi said they believed the incident was targeted either.
“I believe it was just an angry driver,” Ingraldi said.
– By Amy Smart in Vancouver.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 5, 2022.