‘My brother deserves justice,’ says family of Alberta man killed by speeding RCMP vehicle
The family of a northern Alberta man struck and killed by an RCMP vehicle is speaking out about the tragedy after the accused Mountie made her first court appearance Wednesday.
Tracy Janvier, 41 was walking on a highway south of Fort McMurray in the early hours of August 21, 2016 when he was struck by a car and injured.
Janvier was then run over and killed by a speeding RCMP vehicle that was responding to the scene, according to the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT).
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“My brother deserves justice. He paid the ultimate price,” said Marina Nokohoo, Janvier’s sister, on the steps of the Fort McMurray courthouse Wednesday.
Sitting with her mother, Nokohoo said Janvier was one of her five brothers. She remembered him as the sibling who took care of their parents and was the type of son who would make sure a hot meal was always ready for them when they arrived home.
“My mom and dad, they’ve lost a child. So they feel that loss. They feel that impact more than any of us,” Nokohoo said. “Yet, because they are still our parents they are still taking care of us who are grieving.”
Janvier, Nokohoo and their mother spent their last day together attending a wedding in Fort McMurray. Nokohoo remembered Janvier — always well-groomed — enjoying the reception.
“I’ve never seen my brother so happy,” Nokohoo said. “That was the happiest day. I never imagined that was the last day of my brother’s life.”
Hours after the reception, Nokohoo said Janvier hitched a ride home.
‘Responding at an extremely high rate of speed’
ASIRT investigates police incidents that result in serious injury or death.
In June, ASIRT said Janvier was walking on a poorly lit Highway 881, near Anzac, Alta., when a car hit and significantly injured him.
The exact location of the collision, ASIRT said, was unclear.
“While responding [to the scene] at an extremely high rate of speed, the officer came upon a number of vehicles stopped on one side of the highway with their lights on and proceeded to drive past these vehicles without slowing,” ASIRT said in a news release.
“Unfortunately, this location was where the pedestrian had been originally struck and the officer ran over the injured pedestrian prone on the roadway with the police vehicle, killing him.”
The police vehicle also struck the hand of a 71-year-old man who had been helping Janvier. The man suffered non-life threatening injuries.
RCMP Const. Michelle Phillips was charged with dangerous driving causing death and bodily harm in June 2017.
Phillips was supposed to appear in court Wednesday afternoon, but the court instead heard the matter in the morning without notifying Janvier’s family.
The family felt they were being kept in the dark about the change in time.
“I just don’t want to make it so that my brother’s death is going to be swept under the rug, or it’s going to be forgotten about,” Nokohoo said. “He’s my brother. He’s a human being. He’s important as anyone else.”
The matter has been adjourned until August 30.