Professional runner Gary Robbins, pictured here at the Mind Over Mountain adventure race on Vancouver Island in 2018, was run off the road by a pickup driver on a Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Facebook)

Professional runner Gary Robbins, pictured here at the Mind Over Mountain adventure race on Vancouver Island in 2018, was run off the road by a pickup driver on a Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Facebook)

Professional runner nearly killed by pickup driver on rural Chilliwack road

Gary Robbins said the driver came at him intentionally while he was in the bike lane

Professional trail runner Gary Robbins has spent countless hours in the woods of British Columbia dodging roots, rocks and mud, even the occasional wild animal.

But while training for a road race on a rural Chilliwack road on Wednesday, Robbins came face to face with real danger: An angry man in a pickup truck running him off the road.

Robbins was doing speed training just after noon along Prairie Central Road. He was running west in the bike lane against traffic, as runners and pedestrians are advised to do where there are no sidewalks.

Injuries sustained by professional runner Gary Robbins after a pickup driver intentionally nearly hit him on a rural Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Gary Robbins photo)

Up ahead he saw a pickup truck dragging a trailer towards him in the middle of the bike lane. He could see the driver looking right at him and not moving out of the bike lane. At the last second Robbins was forced to jump off the road. He landed on a slick, muddy area and he wiped out, hit the pavement leaving him scraped and swollen.

RELATED: Gary Robbins runs 100 miles on treadmill in garage to raise money for B.C. Search and Rescue

RELATED: Chilliwack’s Gary Robbins maps out epic trail across eight mountains

“He was pulling the trailer down the middle of the bike lane just enough to give him the chance of not killing me but ruining my day,” Robbins said Thursday, adding that he is used to trail running rather than road running.

“I told my coach, I’d rather deal with bears. Bears don’t drive trucks.”

Asked if there was any chance the driver didn’t see him, in the middle of the day, with overcast skies, Robbins said he knows he saw him because their eyes met.

“I really wish I could give him the benefit of the doubt but he looked at me right before, a second before I had to jump and he didn’t swerve.”

Robbins isn’t seriously injured, although he did report the matter to police. Given how fast it all happened, he didn’t get a make or model of the pickup truck, but it was pulling an enclosed trailer with lettering on it. He thinks it had a “J” or a “K” or both.

If he could say something to the driver?

“Honestly, I would like that person to have to stand in front of me and my wife and our five-year-old son and just look us in the eyes for 60 seconds. If this person had misjudged the width of their trailer by a few inches, my son might not have a father today and it’s not an exaggeration to say that could have happened.”

RELATED: Pedestrian struck by vehicle once every five days in Chilliwack


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
editor@theprogress.com

@TheProgress
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Injuries sustained by professional runner Gary Robbins after a pickup driver intentionally nearly hit him on a rural Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Gary Robbins photo)

Injuries sustained by professional runner Gary Robbins after a pickup driver intentionally nearly hit him on a rural Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Gary Robbins photo)

Just Posted

Motorists breaking travel rules can be fined $230 for failing to follow instructions or $575 if the reason for travel violates the essential travel health order, at this Highway 3 check area near Manning Park. Photo RCMP
RCMP begin stopping drivers on BC highways – check point at Manning Park

Four check points are set up Thursday May 6 around the province

John Paul Fraser, executive director of the BC Salmon Farmers Association. (Screen shot)
Salmon farmers warn Surrey jobs on line as feds end Discovery Islands operations

344 full-time jobs at risk in Surrey and 1,189 B.C.-wide

Serena Deol, Jaspreet Deol, Madison Sweeney and Tanveer Pannu (pictured clockwise from top left) are Surrey United soccer players recruited to the University of Fraser Valley. (submitted photos)
Surrey United soccer quartet sign to play for UFV Cascades

Three of the university’s recruits are Panorama Ridge Secondary students

Dr. Bonnie Henry B.C.'s provincial health officer, updates the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
Province ‘ramping up’ COVID-19 vaccination effort in hard-hit Surrey

‘Door-to-door’ registration program in the works, says Dr. Bonnie Henry

Lots at the South Surrey Recreation Centre are reserved for people arriving to attend the COVID-19 vaccination clinic. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Surrey records highest monthly increase in COVID-19 cases

Meantime, the city sees first decrease in weekly cases since February

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O’Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

Starting Tuesday, May 11, B.C. adults born in 1981 and earlier will be able to register for a vaccine dose. (Haley Ritchie/Black Press Media)
BC adults 40+ eligible to book COVID-19 vaccinations next week

Starting Tuesday, people born in 1981 and earlier will be able to schedule their inoculation against the virus

Parks Canada and Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks dig the washed up Princess M out from sand along the south shore of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. (Nora O’Malley photo)
Rescue attempt costs man his boat off Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Coast Guard response questioned after volunteer responder’s speedboat capsizes in heavy swells

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Al Kowalko shows off the province’s first electric school bus, running kids to three elementary and two secondary schools on the West Shore. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C.’s first electric school bus making the rounds in Victoria suburbs

No emissions, no fuel costs and less maintenance will offset the $750K upfront expense

The Aquilini Investment Group has agreed to a proposed contract of five years to run the Abbotsford Centre. (File photo)
Proposal to run Abbotsford Centre offered to Canucks ownership group

Planned five-year contract to cost city $750K annually, starting Jan. 1, 2022

Road sign on Highway 1 west of Hope warns drivers of COVID-19 essential travel road checks on the highways into the B.C. Interior. (Jessica Peters/Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. residents want travel checks at Alberta border, MLA says

Police road checks in place at highways out of Vancouver area

Victoria police say the photo they circulated of an alleged cat thief was actually a woman taking her own cat to the vet. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Photo of suspected cat thief released by Victoria police actually just woman with her pet

Police learned the she didn’t steal Penelope the cat, and was actually taking her cat to the vet

Most Read