A traffic controller working in Osoyoos on April 18 is looking for witnesses after a driver allegedly used his vehicle to physically “push” her out of his way.
Amiee Attig, an Oliver resident, has been working as a flagger for two years and says she’s never experienced anything as scary or shocking as the actions taken by the driver of a silver Ford Focus who was trying to enter the AG Foods parking lot in Osoyoos at about 10 a.m. Attig explained that their construction crew was installing a curb on Highway 3 across from the grocery store, meaning that a portion of the road had been reduced to single lane, alternating traffic.
Attig was stationed 15 meters away from the AG Foods parking lot entrance, just before 72 Avenue, and had approximately four vehicles stopped as they were allowing northbound traffic to proceed through the construction zone. She said she couldn’t believe it when a car pulled out from behind the four others, into the lane of oncoming traffic, and began approaching her.
“He didn’t actually hit me but the car did touch me a few times, like he was trying to scare me by pushing me out of the way so I would move and he could turn into the parking lot,” said Attig, who explained she was wearing her high-visibility gear at the time and was holding a stop sign. “[Earlier] cars were trying to cut through the parking lot and turn out on my side, and while I’m flagging traffic that’s not safe at all, so I had put a couple of cones there (at the parking lot entrance) so that cars couldn’t pull out there.”
Despite the cones blocking the entrance, the oncoming traffic, and Attig standing in the way, the vehicle allegedly proceeded to move forward slowly, forcing Attig to back up. She said the car would go on to physically “push” her multiple times until it finally stopped, 10 meters from where Attig had originally been standing.
“[As he was moving forward] he had his windows down and said, ‘Oh, I’m just turning in here,’ and I was like ‘Do you not see the cars coming right at you?’ And the way it was set up there was only room for one car to get through there at a time, but he kept saying he was just trying to turn [into the parking lot],” said Attig. “He kept driving towards me and the car kept touching my legs and I kept saying, ‘Sir you need to actually stop!’
“As I was moving backwards I had one hand on the hood of the car, and my sign in the other, and I was just trying to keep my legs from getting hit by the car. If I would have tripped, he could have run me over. He wasn’t driving 35 km/h, he was inching forward, but still.”
Attig explained the car finally stopped, half on the yellow line, and allowed the oncoming traffic to proceed. She said once there were no more oncoming vehicles, she allowed the driver to enter the parking lot and noted where he parked.
“The front vehicle that I had stopped during this was a black Toyota 4Runner, and the two ladies in the vehicle saw the whole thing happen. So this car had passed them and was sitting on the yellow line letting the other (oncoming) vehicles go through,” said Attig. “I had taken my phone out to get a picture of the man, his vehicle and his plate number… but when I looked at my phone later the picture hadn’t saved. If the ladies had a dash cam it would have been perfect because I know they saw the whole thing because they were [exclaiming] through the window and making gestures like ‘What the hell?’”
Attig said she hopes the women will come forward, along with any other witnesses, and tell the RCMP what they saw. She said she started a file at the Osoyoos RCMP roughly an hour-and-a-half later once she was off work.
The driver is described as a Caucasian male in his late 40s with slightly grey, curly hair. She estimates that the Ford Focus was likely a late 90s or early 2000s model with B.C. licence plates.
“I mainly just want to get the word out there because if he did that to me, and he was willing to try and push me around with his car and gets away with that, will he do it again? And what if it’s worse and he actually hits a flagger somewhere down the road,” said Attig.
Osoyoos RCMP could not be reached for a comment on the investigation at this time. The file associated with this investigation is 2019-1859.
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