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

Missing Kelowna woman, Cassy Miller found dead

Miller went missing Nov. 6 and was found 10 days later

Crash closes Highway 33 south of Kelowna

Estimated time of re-opening is 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18

Kelowna’s definitive Christmas market list

We’ve prepared a list of every market in the Central Okanagan

Your guide to winter light ups around the Okanagan

From Vernon to Summerland, with a stop in Kelowna, we’ve found some activities for you to enjoy

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

South region forestry workers nearly in legal strike position

Talks broke down between USW and IFLRA, resulting in booking out of provincial mediator

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

Most Read