A Surrey-based police watchdog has cleared the BC Highway Patrol of any wrongdoing in the Nov. 25, 2023, crash between a tractor and police vehicle that sent a Chilliwack man to hospital.
A press release issued by the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) on Friday (Feb. 9) states that “there are no reasonable grounds to believe any officer may have committed an offence.”
Police attempted to “pull the tractor over for an extended period while it was part of a convoy that was heading to Vancouver,” reads a BC RCMP Nov. 27 release.
“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.”
The tractor and a police vehicle were heavily damaged.
The IIO was called in to investigate. The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC investigates all police-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.
The IIO will not release the public report of its findings until court proceedings connected to the incident are finished.
The driver of the tractor, Chilliwack strawberry farmer Bill Shoker, was injured in the crash and had been part of a protest convoy.
Several videos emerged on social media after the crash that paint a picture of the events. Some were posted by Shoker himself, and include videos of driving down Highway 1 and explaining his reasons for joining the protest, which was against a teaching resource called SOGI 123. A large black and white flag that said ‘stop SOGI 123’ was attached to the back of his John Deere tractor, and a Canada flag was attached to the side.
-With files from Jessica Peters