An 80-year-old man escaped with only minor injuries after he drove his SUV around two road-closed barriers and into a pit which just minutes before had been vacated by construction crews.

Man drives vehicle into pit, claims sun in eyes

An 80-year-old Forestburg man avoided injury after driving around two barricades and into a pit on a closed section of Highway 56

An 80-year-old Forestburg man avoided injury after driving around two barricades and into a pit on a closed section of Highway 56 last Thursday, Dec. 11, shortly before noon.

According to Stettler RCMP Const. Bill Lewadniuk, the driver claimed the sun had blinded him and he hadn’t seen the pit.

The back-hoe operator blew his horn at the oncoming vehicle, and tried to extend the bucket out to stop him from going into the hole, but was unsuccessful.

Stettler RCMP, EMS and Stettler Regional Fire and Rescue attended the scene, and EMS tended the driver at the site for minor injuries.

None of the site workers were in the hole at the time of the incident, or the situation would have been quite different, Lewadniuk noted. There was also an exposed gas line in the area, but it had been shut down for the construction work as well.

While RCMP were on site, another driver tried to drive around the barricades and was stopped and ticketed for failure to obey traffic control devices.

According to RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Duncan Babchuk, the ticket was just one of two dozen given out on the same issue in the past week as people drive around barricades.

The 80-year-old driver of the vehicle, which took minor damage after going into the hole, was charged with careless driving.

Tire slasher sought

Stettler RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in finding the identity of a person or persons involved with a tire-slashing campaign on Sunday morning.

Between 1 and 4 a.m., tires were slashed on 16 different vehicles, between 45 and 50 streets, and at the community hall.

Three vehicles had tires slashed on the 5000 block of 46 Street, the 4900 block of 49 Street, and at the Stettler Community Hall, two vehicles had tires slashed on the 4700 block of 49 Street, and a vehicle each on the 4900 blocks of 47 and 49 Street, the 4800 block of 49 Street, and the 4900 block of 50 Street had tires slashed.

RCMP are searching for a white man, 17-25 years of age, between 5’5” and 5’10” (165-180 cm) in height. He was wearing a dark winter jacket and blue jeans at the time.

The suspect may be complaining of a sore back after he slipped on the ice and “took a hard spill,” according to RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Duncan Babchuk.

The fall happened immediately after slashing a set of tires on a truck on 47 Street.

Anyone with information about this crime or any other can phone the Stettler RCMP at 403-742-3382, or if wishing to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Search leads to assault, drug charges

Around 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 3, a member of the Stettler RCMP noted a vehicle driving with only its running lights active.

When the constable tried to stop the vehicle, it “sped up to a high rate of speed,” Lewadniuk said, then ran a red light.

Shortly after the vehicle slowed down and a man, later identified as 29-year-old Victor Foley Jr., jumped from the moving vehicle, where he was picked up by police. According to police, Foley appeared to be under the intoxicating effects of narcotics.

A short while later, the vehicle came to a stop and 34-year-old Amanda Ruby was arrested as well.

On a search of the vehicle, a loaded rifle was found as well as “indications of drug trafficking.”

Both Ruby and Foley were taken to cells at the Stettler RCMP detachment, and there Foley was strip-searched by police. He became belligerent and violent while being searched and assaulted the arresting constable before being subdued.

Foley was found with a sock in his rectum, which after being removed was found to contain 1.3g of crack cocaine.

Ruby is charged with two counts of violating probation and a count each of fail to stop at crosswalk, distracted driving, improper lights, operating a vehicle with no licence, operating vehicle while pursued by police, possession of a firearm while prohibited and unsafe storage of a firearm.

Foley is charged with two counts of obstruction/resisting a peace officer, and a count each of unsafe storage of a firearm, possession of a firearm while prohibited, possession of schedule 1 cocaine, possession of schedule 1 methamphetamine.

Both appeared in court earlier in the month. Ruby was released on conditions and Foley was remanded to custody.


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