Mission residential school march hit-and-run case with prosecutors

Crown counsel to decide fate of driver after RCMP submitted evidence report to prosecutors on Sept. 9.

By Tyler Olsen | September 12, 2022 |4:36 pm

Prosecutors are now mulling whether to lay criminal charges against the man who drove his truck into participants during a reconciliation march in Mission.

Police have now completed their investigation, with RCMP submitting an evidence package to Crown counsel on Friday, The Current has learned. The Crown will have the final say on whether criminal charges should be laid against the 77-year-old man, though a spokesperson for the BC Prosecution Service couldn’t say when a decision would be made. Mission RCMP issued a press release late Monday afternoon confirming the case had been passed on to prosecutors.

The incident occurred more than three months ago, on June 4, as dozens of people participating in the March for Recognition for Residential Schools walked toward St. Mary’s Residential School in Mission. The march, organized by the Crazy Indians Brotherhood,paused traffic along part of Lougheed Highway. The man’s vehicle hit several people, injuring at least two. After the collision, the man drove his vehicle away.

The case made headlines across Canada with the RCMP criticized for its handling of the case and how officers sought out information from witnesses.

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An outcry for justice

An RCMP press release issued soon after the incident focused on the driver’s apparent impatience and suggested that the incident was not related to the cause of the march. But witnesses described the man using racial slurs and telling participants to “get over” residential schools prior to accelerating his truck. One witness said the driver threatened to run her over.

Other witnesses described challenges in trying to provide statements to RCMP.

A 77-year-old man later turned himself into police after seeing news coverage of the incident. The man’s vehicle was seized, but he was released without being charged.

Several days after the incident, RCMP and Indigenous leaders met for hours. One participant told the Vancouver Sun that the meeting grew contentious as participants voiced anger at the fact that the driver was not quickly arrested.

On Monday, a spokesperson with the BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) told The Current that police submitted a report to Crown counsel Friday, Sept. 9. Mission RCMP had told The Current in early July that they expected to have an evidence package submitted to prosecutors within weeks. The Current followed up with police about the case before the Labour Day weekend but did not receive a response. Late Monday, police issued a release confirming that a package had been sent to prosecutors and thanking witnesses for their patience and participation.

In British Columbia, Crown counsel decide whether or not to criminally charge suspects. Prosecutors are supposed to lay charges if there is a “substantial likelihood of conviction” and if a prosecution is in the public’s interest. (You can read more about the guidelines for laying charges here.)

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BCPS, wrote in an email to The Current that he can’t provide a timeline for when the Crown will decide to lay charges.


Join more than 25,000 other Fraser Valley residents by subscribing to our newsletter. Every weekday morning you’ll get a new feature story and other stories, news, and events from Chilliwack, Abbotsford, Langley, Mission and the rest of the valley. See a recent newsletter here.

Get FV Current in your inbox.

Plug in to the news that matters in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Mission, and the rest of the Fraser Valley.

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Tyler Olsen

Managing Editor at Fraser Valley Current

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