It might be a good idea to take down your handicapped card when driving, Susan Lowe suggests, following a scary incident last weekend. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

It might be a good idea to take down your handicapped card when driving, Susan Lowe suggests, following a scary incident last weekend. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

Cowichan woman escapes after scary car plays ‘cat-and-mouse’, blocks road

On an isolated part of Cowichan Lake Road, two women are almost trapped following a bizarre incident

A frightening incident on Cowichan Lake Road last Saturday afternoon has Cowichan Valley resident Susan Lowe urging everyone to buy dash cams for their vehicles.

Lowe, a care worker, was driving a client from Duncan towards Lake Cowichan on the old highway west of Sahtlam, about 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2.

“I didn’t notice anybody behind me and suddenly a silver compact vehicle overtook me very quickly and then cut in front of me so close they just about hit me. Then they slammed their brakes on and then they took off,” she said.

Lowe shook her head over this and continued driving. But then the vehicle started to play what Lowe describes as a “cat-and-mouse game” where they would speed up and then slow back down to keep her vehicle near.

“It took me a while to realize that I was being targeted. I just thought this person was driving erratically. At one point they swerved and were half off the road and half on. They weren’t directly in front of me. They were a fair distance up and we just watched them. But it carried on, this slowing down and speeding up again,” she said.

Lowe grew so concerned that she told her client they were going to carry on past the client’s driveway, because Lowe didn’t want the erratic driver to know where they were going. Next, she slowed down significantly to let the silver car get far ahead. It vanished from sight, but before Lowe could turn around and head back to her client’s home, she got an unwelcome surprise.

“I went around the curve. They were waiting for me. They were pulled over and stopped. I slowed way down. I wasn’t really sure what to do at that point. You have to understand, too, I had a handicapped person with me. It’s not like I was alone.

As Lowe approached the silver car pulled back out onto the road so the vehicle faced sideways, blocking both lanes.

“There were three people in the vehicle. There were two men and there was a female in the back. When they blocked the road, I really didn’t know what my recourse was. I suddenly realized there was a driveway on my right hand side. And just as I saw the driveway and went to go into it, he made an attempt to block the driveway as well. I got through to the driveway. He came in behind me but stopped, thank God.

“It was a very long driveway. I went all the way to the end of it. There was a house and a man with his dog. I was also praying: I hope this doesn’t end in an isolated lagoon. At this point in time, I was just taking anything that looked like I could drive along it. I was terrified.

“I got out, and explained to the man what was going on, that we needed help. I was trying to get 9-1-1 but there’s no cell service. I don’t think it was a coincidence that he tried to block me where there was no cell service. I actually believe this person knew exactly what they were doing and where they were doing it. The man kind of brushed the whole thing off and said it was probably just some road rage or whatever.”

He suggested the driver had probably taken off and was long gone.

Lowe wasn’t convinced. The man agreed he would walk with his dog to the end of the driveway to make sure the silver car was gone. She followed him up, but hung back.

The silver car was waiting. But when the occupants saw the man and dog, the finally took off towards Lake Cowichan.

“I have no idea what this person wanted but it was terrifying nonetheless,” Lowe said.

Lowe reported the scary incident to the North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP, but says they told her they would not be doing anything on it.

She’s incredulous.

“Three witnesses? It’s beyond me that they have taken so little interest in this. If that driveway had not been there, it could have been a very different outcome. This person meant business. They waited at the top of the driveway. When we tried to keep a distance, they waited until we came around the bend,” she repeated.

Lowe posted her story on Facebook and is now planning to buy a dash cam for her own vehicle and is urging her friends to do the same.

Another idea that could still be of use, even in areas where there is no cell service, is to use the International Distress Signal: three long blasts.

Anyone hearing the horn of a car giving three long blasts and then repeating it would be likely to check out what was happening or at least contact police, Lowe said.

She also thought that their vehicle may have been targeted because it had a handicapped sign in the window and suggested that the people in the silver car might have thought these people would be more vulnerable.

“Only put your handicapped placard up when parking. I never considered this before but such placards if visible while driving, just advertise to anyone with nefarious motives, that you are vulnerable,” she warned on her Facebook page.

North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP could not be reached for comment by press time.

Lowe said she has subsequently reported the incident to Lake Cowichan RCMP, who are taking the matter very seriously.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

An Ater-group Airon Slug identified during YES’s Bio-Blitz. (Yellow Point Ecological Society photo)
Yellow Point Ecological Society’s Bio-Blitz a big success

The Yellow Point Ecological Society held their first-ever Bio-Blitz over the weekend… Continue reading

Grade 12 LSS student Catherine Sampson, Grade 8 LSS student Cianna Vincent, and LSS Aboriginal Education teacher Brenda Kohlruss led the LSS ceremony honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith Secondary ceremony honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

A small ceremony was held in the LSS foyer on the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG

Peter and Wayne Richmond and 49th Parallel Grocery won the award for Business Achievement 20+ Employees at the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s 22nd Black Tie Awards on Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Submitted)
Ladysmith businesses recognized at Black Tie Awards

Black Tie Awards are given annually by the Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce

Ladysmith’s Town Council met on May 4 and set a 0.52 percent increase for 2021 property taxes. (Town of Ladysmith/YouTube)
Town of Ladysmith adopts 0.52 percent tax increase for 2021

Mayor Aaron Stone praises the increase as among the ‘lowest in the province’

The CVRD introduces new app to contact residents during emergencies. (CVRD photo)
CVRD launches new app to spread information during emergencies

Cowichan Alert is a free app that can be downloaded onto smartphones, computers

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
VIDEO: Workers, activists clash at site of Vancouver Island logging operation

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

(Kamloops This Week file photo)
Federal police unit takes over probe of B.C. regional district’s spending

Financial Integrity Sensitive Investigations Unit is now reviewing the case

A black bear made a visit to downtown Vancouver Tuesday, May 4. The animal was spotted on train tracks in Gastown shortly after at 2:30 p.m. (Twitter/Craig Minielly)
VIDEO: Black bear spotted meandering around downtown Vancouver

The bear was reportedly tranquilized by conservation officers Tuesday afternoon

Vivian Hermansen, Snuneymuxw First Nation, initiator of petition e-3281. Photo by Karen Evans.
Status card wait times an example of systemic racism, says Campbell River woman

Snuneymuxw woman launches petition as people waiting up to two years, as passports take three weeks

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Interior Health locks out Kelowna martial arts gym following COVID violations

Actions were taken after all other steps to gain compliance were exhausted, says health authority

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Arrest made after man spits, yells anti-Asian racial slurs at Victoria mom and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

A lady 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
Canada may find it challenging to reach herd immunity from COVID-19, experts say

Level of immunity among the population changes with the variants, especially the more transmissible strains

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Dip in COVID-19 cases with 572 newly announced in B.C.

No new deaths have been reported but hospitalized patients are up to 481, with 161 being treated in intensive care

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Most Read