Industry creates reward funds for information on B.C. trucker beating
November 1, 2010
LANGLEY, B.C. - The trucking industry is rallying to bring justice to the perpetrators of a stunning, seemingly unprovoked attack on a truck driver who says he was simply trying to help a fellow motor...
LANGLEY, B.C. –The trucking industry is rallying to bring justice to the perpetrators of a stunning, seemingly unprovoked attack on a truck driver who says he was simply trying to help a fellow motorist.
Monarch Transport driver Alex Fraser, 67, stopped his truck Sept. 24 on the Yellowhead Highway just north of Blue River, B.C., when a motorist flagged him down for help.
According to media reports, the Good Samaritan truck driver was then ambushed and badly beaten by several men, one of whom reportedly said: “You truckers are all alike.”
Fraser was left for dead, but managed to eventually get himself to safety. He has since undergone reconstructive surgery and has told media his trucking days are over. As Fraser recovers at his B.C. home, trucking groups are raising money in hopes of bringing his attackers to justice and helping ease Fraser’s transition to an unplanned retirement.
The B.C. Trucking Association (BCTA) has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the attackers and the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) said it would match the offer.
“I have never, in the 16 years I’ve been with BCTA, heard of anything like this,” said Paul Landry, BCTA’s president and CEO. “BCTA is committed to all forms of safety in trucking, whether that means road safety or safety for truck drivers. We want to help bring the perpetrators to justice.”
The trucking association has teamed with Crime Stoppers so anyone with information can provide tips while remaining anonymous.
In addition to the BCTA and CTA awards, Crime Stoppers itself pays up to $2,000 for information leading to an arrest.
“By involving Crime Stoppers, we’re also guaranteeing an avenue for individuals who want to do the right thing, but have their own fears about safety,” Landry said. “Truck drivers are known for helping others on the road. I’d hate to be in a world where they can no longer choose to be Good Samaritans. I hope that others who feel the same way will come forward.”
Any donations the BCTA receives above and beyond the $10,000 will be given to Fraser himself to assist with his premature retirement, the association has said.
Drivers and owner/operators are also organizing their own fundraising campaign, spearheaded by Larry Hall, an owner/operator and founder of The North American Truckers Guild (NATG). Hall was somewhat put off by the BCTA’s effort, since he said it wrongly caps the amount that will go towards the reward. Hall, who says he approached BCTA about launching a coordinated fundraising effort before the group announced its campaign, feels all money raised should go towards the reward.
“The only problem with (the BCTA campaign) is now we essentially have a cap on the reward fund,” Hall told Truck West. He feels that because so little is known about the attackers, the reward fund will have to be substantial in order to be effective.
“The people I’m asking for money, they want to see these guys caught. We need to get this pot large enough that one of the (attackers) turns in the others,” Hall said.
Hall said he had already raised about $3,500 by the time the BCTA announced its own efforts and the NATG will continue to accept donations, which will be used to “set up our own reward fund and push the bar much higher.”
Hard feelings aside, everyone involved is eager to help Fraser and to see justice served. And they’re also fearful for their own safety and that of other drivers.
Hall suspects the perpetrators “have a vendetta against truck drivers,” since there seems to be no other motive for the attack. To support the BCTA initiative, call 604-888-5319 or 800-565-2282. To donate via the NATG, visit its Web site at www.thetruckersguild.com, but keep in mind an official tax receipt may not be issued, Hall noted. (Hall said if the NATG’s reward fund goes unclaimed after one year, the entire amount will be given to Fraser).
Most importantly, if you have information about this attack, contact: the Valemont RCMP by phone (250-566-4466) or fax (250-566-9964); your local RCMP detachment; or, if anonymity is preferred, B.C. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.