Racism runs wild online after truck driver damages B.C. bridge

Princeton residents deal with fallout from racists rants posted to local Facebook group

It’s going to take approximately $20,000 and a few more days to fix Princeton’s Brown Bridge, according to municipal infrastructure director Jamie Umpleby.

But there’s no telling how long it will take to repair the feelings of some residents, following a series of racist posts that appeared on local Facebook groups after an accident damaged the bridge two weeks ago.

“As soon as the pictures of the driver were posted it just blew up,” said Heather King, who administers the group Princeton and Area Issues.

“I was shocked. It wasn’t even surprise, it was shock.”

King removed at least two dozen offending comments from the group, which has 3,462 members.

“I wasn’t really counting I was just deleting as fast as I could.”

King said many of the comments had little to do with the damage to the bridge, but instead were based on the driver’s appearance.

“I don’t remember word for word, but they were telling him to go back where he came from, and things about letting ‘those’ people into our country and allowing them to drive on our roads.”

And some of those commenters were known to King.

“I wouldn’t have expected words like that to come out of their mouths…It was sad. Once my head stopped spinning it was sad to see them.”

The whole business started on a Friday afternoon, when a transport truck driver attempted to cross the historic, one-lane wooden bridge.

The truck shifted a number of supports, and the bridge will be closed until at least this weekend, according to Umpleby.

The town has already opened a claim with the trucking company’s insurance company, he said.

The driver was charged under the Motor Vehicle Act with disobeying a traffic control device and exceeding weight restrictions.

The eventual fate of the iconic bridge – built in the 1930s and one of the last of its kind still in use in BC – is still unknown.

Last year engineers advised the municipality the structure is nearing the end of its life, and councillors have requested a meeting with the minister of transportation and infrastructure to discuss funding for replacement options.

Related: Princeton’s Brown Bridge will be closed for at least a week

To report a typo, email:
publisher@similkameenspotlight.com
.



andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

West Shore RCMP seizes illegal drugs, imitation handguns in Colwood

One man and one woman arrested for weapons-related offences

Saanich man serving life sentence for double murder granted day parole

Derik Christopher Lord, convicted in 1992, fathered a child in custody

Three rescued after canoe capsizes near Oak Bay

Private vessel finds canoe, brings people ashore

Victoria councillors want city greenhouses used for food production during COVID-19

Couns. Ben Isitt and Jeremy Loveday are proposing new food security strategies

First Nations, remote communities need special attention in pandemic, Freeland says

Health-care workers, seniors, Indigenous Peoples some of people most at risk, health officials say

COVID-19: Social media use goes up as country stays indoors

Overall messaging is up more than 50 per cent over the last month

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Controversial Cowichan tiny house still in place after removal deadline

Cowichan Valley Regional District had ordered it removed by March 15

Call before you dig into spring projects during isolation: BC 1 Call

BC 1 Call gives free checks for utilities in the area of a desired outdoor project

B.C.’s intersection speed cameras putting more tickets in the mail

One Nanaimo location delayed after speed limit reduced

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

No April Fool’s jokes from Black Press Media

Only factual stories to be printed, despite day calling for hilarity

Most Read