Man charged 5 months after residential school marchers hit with pickup in Mission

Photo of the truck involved in the alleged hit and run. / Robert Jago photo.

Photo of the truck involved in the alleged hit and run. / Robert Jago photo.

A 77-year-old man from Deroche has been charged in relation to a serious incident at a residential school march in Mission earlier this year.

Richard Manuel has been charged with one count of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

He will appear in Abbotsford provincial court on Jan. 9.

The incident took place June 4 during the March for Recognition, which left Fraser River Heritage Park and was en route along Lougheed Highway just east of Mission to the former site of St. Mary’s Residential School.

READ: Four people struck by vehicle

Police said, at approximately 12:30 p.m., an altercation occurred between the driver of a pickup truck and members of the march, and four people reported they had been injured after the truck drove into them.

The driver of the truck later met with investigators, as did several witnesses.

MORE: Driver turns himself in

In September, Mission RCMP completed its investigation into the incident and submitted its evidence package to the BC Prosecution Service.

At that time, Const. Harrison Mohr, media relations officer with the Mission RCMP, said no timeline had been set for how long BCPS would take to consider charges, and no further details about the investigation would be released

“We understand that this has been a trying time for those affected by this incident, and we appreciate their patience and understanding,” he said.

Earlier this year, the Cheam First Nation criticized police for what some people have called a slow investigation and the RCMP’s original description of the suspect as an “impatient driver” who couldn’t pass the marchers on the highway.

READ: Police complete investigation

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