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.

Just Posted

Surrey’s Flamingo ‘closing forever’ following final concert in February

Whalley venue reopened under new management in January 2018

Surrey needs 350 more cops, activist tells council

‘Right now we are 350 police behind what our population requires,’ politicians are told

Surrey reviewing clothing bin safety in wake of deaths

School district confirms all donation bins were removed from its properties, citing safety concerns

Delta bans clothing donation bins citing safety concerns

Owners have until Jan. 29 to remove the bins, after which the city will charge them for the removal

The science of edible photographs on shortbread bisquits: A Surrey artist talks

Sylvia Grace Borda at Science World a week after her art show opens at KPU

VIDEO: Car flies across median, flips over edge of Brunette overpass

Dash cam footage shows a vehicle speeding across a Lower Mainland overpass

Razor burn: Gillette ad stirs online uproar

A Gillette ad for men invoking the .MeToo movement is sparking intense online backlash

Lower Mainland teacher resigned after ‘inappropriate discussions’ with elementary students

Tracy Joseph Fairley resigned from Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows district April 23, 2018

Feds poised to bolster RCMP accountability with external watchdog

Long-anticipated move is the latest attempt at rebuilding the force following years of sagging morale

Canada needs a digital ID system, bankers association says

The Department of Finance last week officially launched its public consultation on the merits of open banking

Indigenous energy summit includes session on pipeline ownership options

Steven Saddleback of the Indian Resource Council says a session will feature presentations on financing models

Japanese grand champion Kisenosato retires from sumo

The 32-year-old Kisenosato was the first Japanese-born wrestler in 19 years to gain promotion to sumo’s highest rank

UPDATE: Accused B.C. high school killer found fit to stand trial

Gabriel Klein is accused in the 2016 stabbing death of Letisha Reimer at Abbotsford Senior Secondary

Right-wing, neo-Nazi, white supremacist groups an increasing concern: Goodale

Ten people died in April 2018 when Alek Minassian allegedly drove a rental van down the busy stretch in Toronto

Most Read