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'I was terrified': Drivers flee after crash, attempted carjackings on Highway 1 in Langley
VANCOUVER -- Warning: This article contains language that may be disturbing to some readers.
Police say it’s fortunate nobody was seriously injured, or even killed, during a violent crime spree that included a home invasion, a robbery, attempted car-jackings and several hit-and-runs at highway speeds.
A 32-year-old Surrey man was arrested and faces a lengthy list of charges after the wild 60 minutes in the Fraser Valley Wednesday evening.
It all began around 6:30 p.m. when Abbotsford police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Highway 1.
Witnesses told officers the driver ran from the area and was last seen heading south on Mt. Lehman Road.
About 40 minutes later, police received reports a man had broken into two houses on Locklin Court, a rural cul-de-sac not far from the crash site.
At the first house, nobody was home but an alarm company alerted police.
According to a family at the second house, a man broke down their door, threatening them and demanding the keys to their truck — which they handed over.
“We started getting numerous calls to 911 of a vehicle that was matching the suspect description driving very dangerously and aggressively westbound on Highway 1,” said Sgt. Judy Bird of the Abbotsford Police Department. “He sideswiped some vehicles and was just acting very aggressive.”
Near the 212 Street overpass in Langley, the truck left the road, rolling in the median before landing upright with the windshield smashed and other significant damage.
That’s when an agitated man began threatening drivers and trying to get into their vehicles in the eastbound lanes of Highway 1.
“All of a sudden he came right up right in front of mine, stopped, put his hand firmly on the car and said ‘Get the F out of the vehicle,’ ” said Marissa Litjens, who recorded the encounter, including audio, with her dash cam.
“I was very shooken up. My hands were so shaky. And my heart was racing quite high. And my adrenaline was just right through the roof.”
The suspect approached Adrienne Butler, another woman who slowed down during the melee, blocking her car and demanding she get out.
“He just kept repeating the same thing again and again: Just get out of the car. He looked very angry,” she said in an interview with CTV News. “He had scratches up and down his forearms and maybe bruising or dirt.”
At first, Butler was confused, thinking the man might be trying to warn her of some sort of danger ahead, but as the agitated man bore down on her hood she realized he was the danger.
“I was terrified. Yeah. I wasn’t sure if I should get out of my car at first or if I should try and swerve around him and just get away,” she said.
Eventually, the man approached the side of her car, clearing the path ahead, and Butler drove off.
According to Sgt. Bird, the suspect vehicle hit several cars and trucks along Highway 1, and three people in one of those vehicles were treated for minor injuries.
“We are exceptionally lucky that the injuries that were involved in incidents were minor in nature. It could have been much much worse,” she said. “This was a horrific set of incidents that occurred in the Fraser Valley last night.”
The suspect was treated in hospital for what are also described as minor injuries.
The man faces a lengthy list of charges including break and enter, robbery, theft over $5,000, dangerous driving, possession of stolen property, and possession of a controlled substance.