RCMP charge driver in fatal pedestrian collision

The 21-year-old driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a Stettler resident last month has been charged by police.

The 21-year-old driver of a vehicle that struck and killed a Stettler resident last month has been charged by police.

On Aug. 27, Christopher George Barclay was struck by a westbound truck around 10:30 p.m. as he crossed the road inside a cross-walk, RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Duncan Babchuk said.

John Nafziger of Botha is facing charges of operating a motor vehicle without operator’s licence, driving carelessly, fail to yield to a pedestrian in a crosswalk, driving at an unreasonable rate of speed, displaying an improperly issued licence plate and driving without vehicle registration.

A witness to the collision administered first aid to Barclay while the driver of the truck, a 21-year-old Botha man, stopped and phoned 911.

Barclay was taken by ambulance to Stettler Hospital where emergency staff tried to save him, but he succumbed to his injuries a short time later.

Nafziger and his two passengers were not injured.

RCMP seek armed robbery suspect

Students at Erskine School had a bit of unwelcome excitement on their first day back after summer break when RCMP had the school put into lockdown.

About 45 minutes before dismissal on Sept. 2, a nearby armed robbery had police phoning the school, asking them to lock the doors. The precaution was necessary, according to Stettler RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Duncan Babchuk. The suspect in the robbery had fled on foot.

Police responded to a 911 call about an armed robbery at the Erskine Liquor Store about 2:10 p.m. After the school was put into lockdown, police scoured the area looking for the suspect, but were unsuccessful, leading Babchuk to believe that he had a vehicle waiting nearby.

Police were on hand when school was dismissed to ensure student safety, but there were no incidents, Babchuk said. He noted that constables were calm and cheerful, making it seem like a public safety display.

Police are studying surveillance video to help in identifying the suspect, but hope that the public will be able to help as well.

The suspect was described as a white man, between six and six-foot-two inches in height, wearing a black long-sleeved shirt, medium to light blue jeans, casual black shoes, and likely in his mid-20s or early 30s.

If you have any information on this matter or any other criminal matter, please contact the RCMP Detachment at 403-742-3382 or report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

Traffic Unit back on Stettler roads

The Central Alberta Integrated Traffic Unit is back in the area, operating out of the Stettler detachment. Though the constables work out of the detachment, they’re not part of Sgt. Babchuk’s crew.

Instead, these police officers focus their work on traffic issues, from speeding and road rule compliance to making sure vehicles are roadworthy.

Cpl. Brian Johannson leads the traffic unit.