A Springbrook woman who was carjacked at gunpoint Tuesday morning has more sympathy than anger for her dangerous assailant.
“I don’t even think this guy necessarily is a bad guy. I think he’s just made poor choices and is in a bad place in his life right now,” said Jennifer, 36, who preferred her last name not be used.
“He also, I think, was under the influence, because there was drug paraphernalia found in the stolen truck that hit the bus.”
Jennifer was driving to work around 8 a.m. on Tuesday when she came across the head-on collision just west of Springbook between a flatbed truck and a Chinook’s Edge School Division bus taking seven kids to their schools in Penhold.
She stopped to help, and as she approached the driver of the truck, he pulled a gun that had been concealed in his jacket.
He just pointed it at me and said, ‘Don’t Effin do it.’
“I was like, ‘OK, you can have my car.’”
The crook asked her if there were any children in the car and she said no.
“Then, he said ‘Do you need anything like your phone?’
“And I said, ‘Yes, if you’re going to leave me here in like -20 C at eight o’clock in the morning on a gravel road.’
“He passed me my purse that had my phone in it, and my lunch bag.
“Then he apologized. We made eye contact and he said, ‘Sorry.’
“I said, ‘That’s OK,’ then I watched him drive away in my car.”
The bus driver and children were still in the bus during this confrontation.
Soon after, RCMP issued a news release with a description of Jennifer’s silver 2012 Mitsubishi Outlander with licence plate BNR6558. Police warned anyone who sees the vehicle not to approach the driver, who is considered “armed and dangerous.”
Police had been searching for the truck since Jan. 15, when it was stolen from a Fountain Tire in Drumheller. The same vehicle was connected to a break and enter in Bashaw and another incident in Delburne, where shots were fired.
Jennifer said her brush with a potentially dangerous criminal sank in later in the day.
“I still have mixed feelings and mixed emotions.
“Sometimes, I feel angry for stopping. But who doesn’t stop for an accident involving a bus involving school kids? I like to think any decent person would stop and help.
“In hindsight, I think the situation could have gotten a lot worse.”
Despite her frightening experience, she would stop again. “That’s just who I am, right? You’d stop and see if somebody needs help.
“You can’t just let one incident determine everything. You cannot let one bad situation take over everything else.”
RCMP have not yet located Jennifer’s vehicle or the suspect.
If anyone sees him, they should not approach, but call 911 immediately. If the vehicle is found abandoned, call Blackfalds RCMP at 403-885-3333.