First responders in Grand Forks could have been in danger when a motorist drove through an emergency scene north of the city.
The scene was calm after firefighters, RCMP and paramedics arrived at a single-vehicle rollover at the 20-mile mark of North Fork Road at around 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Sept. 1. A white Dodge pickup had landed on its roof after leaving the northbound lane, according to Rich Piché, Dep. Chief at Grand Forks Fire/Rescue.
The driver of the truck was able to get out of the truck on her own, Piché said. Grand Forks RCMP later said the driver, a 60-year-old Grand Forks woman, turned down an ambulance ride to nearby Boundary Hospital, having been “minorly injured” in the rollover.
Things appeared to be winding down when at around 10:50 a.m., a white Ford pickup cut through the scene, driving fast past a moving fire engine with its emergency lights on and around an RCMP cruiser parked on the approach to the scene and with its emergency lights flashing.
The truck came to a halt on the dirt shoulder of the south-bound lane, at which point the Gazette saw the driver, a man in his 20s, throw his hands up in an apparent show of frustration. Piché and chief paramedic Jamie Grant spoke to the man, who insisted his truck had been experiencing mechanical difficulties.
“Anytime anyone drives through a scene, there will be lots of first responders around — there’s firefighters, there’s paramedics, there’s police — and we always try to maintain a high degree of situational awareness. But if we’re focused on a patient and we’re on the side of a road, sometimes we can’t see what’s behind us,” Grant said. “We trust the public and our fellow citizens to help keep us safe by paying extra attention to the road.”
Grand Forks RCMP said there were no witnesses to the rollover, adding that the pickup driver told police she lost control of her truck after swerving to avoid an oncoming semi-trailer. Charges are not being recommended.