On the evening of March 6, a Friday night, at the intersection of 32nd Street and 30th Avenue, at 7:15 p.m., my son’s BMW was struck as he traveled through the intersection by a black SUV driven by a young woman who left the scene at a high rate of speed.
Although witnesses pursued the fleeing vehicle, they could not catch up to it. Fortunately, my son was not killed by the impact, but was taken to the hospital for injury assessment and is recovering.
I was agonized with concern, having heard blurred details of that evening’s events.
Volcanic with anger, but also driven with optimism, I doggedly began my own investigation.
My son’s friend had picked up a piece of debris that the fleeing vehicle left behind, so on Sunday, I began the sleuthing with the help of technology.
Our older son took a picture of the piece of debris and via the Internet, we were able to narrow our search to three potential makes and models of identified vehicles.
Finally, with the help of Google search, we focused on a black 2011 Chevrolet Traverse SUV.
Printing a copy from Google maps, theorizing the affluence of the owner, considering the probable travel of the driver, I began a physical grid-search through each area near to the accident.
After five hours of checking alleys, cul-de-sacs and streets, to my amazement, there it was, sitting in the driveway of the registered owner’s home, the hit-and-run vehicle.
The RCMP were called, the identification confirmed, but it was not over for me.
Wanting to know who the person was, motivated by their uncaring response as to whether not my son was alive or dead, I was driven onward.
Only now I was joined in the search by other family members with the use of technology and their own smarts. With reverse directories, we discovered who lived at that address.
Again with the help of technologies, we discovered who the drivers at that address were, their education, their employment, their hobbies and sports, general interests, their relatives who live elsewhere, personal poems to a dead grandmother … all semi-private, but public information to anyone who knows how to get it.
It’s a scary thought that everyone’s life has become so open to the process of public information gathering.
Out of reprisal, I would like to make their names known to everyone for public shame, but my son, the one who was damaged by their actions, asked me not to state their names, even though the owner of the vehicle is on the police report as public knowledge to all.
Fortunately, it is not over! With the help of eyewitness testimony, new tools in the Criminal Code, and the criminal and civil courts of law, these people who care nothing for their fellow human beings should eventually face justice.
Through all this ordeal of traumatic frustration, I am encouraged by the fact that there are people who do care about the well-being of others.
My family and I would like to thank the numerous people who stopped to help my son, sacrificing their valuable time to give written accounts of what took place.
Also, thanks to the RCMP, who continue to pursue justice on my son’s behalf.
In spite of all that has taken place, I am still proud to live among caring Canadians and a democratic system that serves its people. Again, thank you.