Alberta trucker recounts being hijacked in B.C.

‘He wouldn’t have had a problem shooting me:’ Trucker recounts being hijacked at gunpoint near Kamloops

Robert Price, left, and his father Dougie Price pose in front of Robert’s truck in Tabusintac, N.B. in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Robert Price

Robert Price, left, and his father Dougie Price pose in front of Robert’s truck in Tabusintac, N.B. in this undated handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Robert Price

Robert Price calls it the longest drive of his life.

The 43-year-old Alberta trucker spent three-hours driving along a B.C. highway Monday after an assailant came to his window, waving a handgun, demanding that Price drive him away from the turnout in the road where Price had been taking a break.

“He came to my window and said you don’t have a choice — your only two choices are, are you driving or am I driving,” Price told The Canadian Press.

“In my own mind, I had no doubt that he wouldn’t have had a problem shooting me to get out of there. I’ve never been in the kind of situation like this.”

Related: Man cuffed after escaping police and holding trucker at gunpoint

It began late Monday afternoon when a RCMP officer found a man slumped over in his running van near Avola, B.C. As the officer was putting the suspect into a police car, the suspect overpowered him and drove off in his original vehicle.

The van driver allegedly forced a pick-up truck to pull over but couldn’t commandeer the vehicle and took off again when police arrived. He ended up stopping at a roadside turnout north of Kamloops where semi-tractor trailers were parked.

He approached one of the trucks, smashed out a window and tried to get the trucker to drive him away.

“He actually left that one and came over to me and when he pulled a gun it was like, ‘yeah I’ll drive you,’” said Price, who grew up in Tabusintac, N.B.

“Once he was in the truck, we were driving down the road and stuff. I think in my mind I was thinking as long as I was doing what he wanted and driving he was really no great threat to me, but it was a long three-hour drive to Kamloops.”

Price said conversation was limited, but his passenger asked him how long he had been driving and said he had owned trucks in the past. Price was worried about what would happen when they eventually reached their final destination.

“That was running through my mind the whole time actually. How does this end?”

Price was on the phone for most of the drive with his boss and the RCMP, but pretended it was his dispatcher. He was able to give information about where the vehicle was and police eventually told him to pull over at the weigh scales near Kamloops.

“I said ‘I’ve got to get out. There’s something screwed up back there.’ I got out slowly and then the cops told me run. As I was running, I heard gunshots and it was actually them taking out the front tires,” said Price.

He said it was the gunshots that really scared him.

“I was waiting for the bullet to hit when I heard the shots. I thought he’s shot at me.”

Despite the use of tear gas, Price said the suspect still tried to drive away and rolled his truck over an embankment.

David Lee Chappell, 33, of the B.C. Lower Mainland, faces a number of charges including kidnapping and use of a firearm in the commission of an offence.

Price is philosophical about the entire experience.

“I have a firm belief that people are put in certain places at certain times for a reason. Maybe I prevented something worse from happening to other people,” he said.

“I kind of joked with my sisters and I said you know how they say at the end of your life, he who wins has the best stories. I said I think I’ve got one of the better ones.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Marine biologist Rick Harbo pulls a lid from the Ladysmith harbour, which he uses to monitor the presence of native and non-native species in the Ladysmith harbour. (Cole Schisler photo)
Unidentified sponge may be the latest marine species invading Ladysmith Harbour

Marine biologist finding dozens of alien species in warm-water harbour, none of them threatening

More and more graffiti has appeared in Ladysmith’s downtown core during the pandemic. (Cole Schisler photo)
Council creates rebate program to encourage graffiti clean up

Property owners can receive up to $50 to help fund graffiti removal

Rick Ruppenthal of Saltair will host a 12-hour talk-a-thon Friday, June 18 over Facebook live. (Photo submitted)
Talk-a-thon to focus on men’s mental health issues

Saltair man spearheading a campaign to generate more conversation during fundraiser

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Two ambulances and a medevac helicopter are on scene at Taylor River Flats rest area on Highway 4 due to a serious motor vehicle incident. (PHOTO COURTESY MAGGIE BROWN)
Highway 4 reopens between Port Alberni and Tofino

Multi-vehicle accident temporarily closed highway in both directions

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

Most Read