A tractor crash following an RCMP pursuit on Highway 1 in Surrey is being probed by B.C.’s civilian police watchdog.
The tractor rolled at the onramp to the 176 Street overpass on Saturday afternoon, as police were attempting to pull it over. Video of the collision has circulated widely on social media.
“There was contact between the tractor and a police vehicle. The tractor rolled over, and male driver of the tractor sustained an injury and was transported to a hospital for treatment,” the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) said Monday.
The IIO said it was notified of the incident on Saturday, and is in the process of reviewing the circumstances of the incident, and whether the man’s injuries meet the threshold for its mandate. The IIO is tasked with investigating any incident involving police that results in serious harm or death.
In its own media release on Monday, the BC RCMP said officers had allegedly tried to pull Shoker’s tractor over “for an extended period” while it was a part of the Vancouver-bound convoy.
“During the interaction, the tractor and police vehicle collided, the tractor inverted, and came to a rest on its side, resulting in the driver suffering non-life-threatening injuries,” police said.
“He remains in hospital.”
The tractor’s driver has been identified as Chilliwack farmer Bill Shoker.
On Sunday, his wife told Global News he had been participating in a “road rally” from Chilliwack to Vancouver protesting SOGI 123.
Video from the scene showed a banner reading “stop SOGI-123″ draped on the back of the tractor.
SOGI 123 is a resource package designed to help teachers and school administrators reduce discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) in their curriculum.
Manjit Shoker said her husband has been involved in numerous recent anti-SOGI rallies in the region.
“He is OK, but he is having surgery either today or Monday,” she said on Sunday. “I think they are saying his backbone is broken or something like that. I do not know when he will return home.”
On Wednesday, B.C.’s attorney general accused the B.C. conservatives of inflaming “fringe” and “hateful” attacks on the SOGI program.
Attorney General Niki Sharma told reporters at the legislature on Monday that the incident was “very concerning,” and she accused B.C. Conservative Party Leader John Rustad of “stoking, fear, hatred and division” in the province.
Rustad meanwhile said in an email that parents are “right to raise concerns” about the program, known as SOGI 123, calling it “gender ideology.”
Mounties said the B.C. highway patrol was investigating the tractor driver’s actions, while Surrey RCMP was investigating the collision between the tractor and an RCMP vehicle.
Source : Global News