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Man calls 911 to report RCMP seized his vehicle, stranding him in Princeton

‘Mario Andretti was going from Edmonton to Vancouver’

A 21-year-old Edmonton man repeatedly called 911 Tuesday, Dec. 22, to report his vehicle had been seized by RCMP on Highway 3, just west of Princeton.

That is the end to a bizarre and potentially calamitous string of events that occurred earlier in the day, at about 3 p.m., according to Princeton police.

RCMP Sgt. Rob Hughes explained, the man was driving a rented Jeep Compass, approximately 8 km west of Princeton. He was observed passing a long line of cars, on an ice and snow compacted left hand lane, and clocked doing 127 km in a 100 km zone.

BC Highway Patrol pulled the driver over and issued a ticket, said Hughes.

Less than an hour later the driver became involved in another situation, after he crossed a solid double line, travelling downhill, approaching a hair-pin turn on the same highway. In doing so he cut off a CVSE officer who was pursuing another vehicle driving dangerously.

“Mario Andretti was going from Edmonton to Vancouver,” explained Hughes. The driver told police it was an emergency, as he was headed to the coast to visit a friend.

An unmarked BC Highway Patrol vehicle, also in the traffic line, pulled the vehicle over a second time.

“His response (to the officer) was ‘I already got a ticket.’ By that we can only assume he thought you get one ticket a day, and you then you can do anything you want.”

Police called the rental company and explained the events. Hertz requested that the Jeep be seized and towed to the nearest airport.

BC Highway Patrol drove the man to Princeton, where he made the calls to 911 complaining that he was robbed of his opportunity to get to Vancouver.

Hughes said the man attended the detachment the next morning, demanding help.

“He’s an adult making adult decisions, albeit poorly,” said Hughes. “It’s not our responsibility to secure him a hotel or find him alternative transport.”

The take away is simple, Hughes added.

”BC Highway patrol is out in full force, as is CVSE, and the time for warnings has passed. It’s winter and we are talking about people’s lives.

Related: Company has B.C. operating licence suspended after truck caught driving dangerously on Hwy 5A

Related: Five fatal crashes in a week on Highways 3 and 97

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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