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 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.

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

Just Posted

Alberta Health Services' central zone jumped from 162 active COVID-19 cases to 178 on Friday. Five additional deaths were reported provincewide, bringing the toll to 323. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
622 new COVID-19 cases set another daily high Friday

Province confirmed 622 additional cases Friday

File Photo
Sylvan Lake Town Council approves second attempt for downtown cannabis retail shop

Firestone Cannabis submitted a new application after their first was denied in August

Alberta children whose only symptom of COVID-19 is a runny nose or a sore throat will no longer require mandatory isolation, starting Monday.
477 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Alberta on Thursday

Changes being made to the COVID-19 symptom list for school-age children

Three young Sylvan Lake residents are asking for lights to be added to the walking trail system to make them safer and less scary at night. Photo by @workinonmyfitness72
Young Sylvan Lake residents ask for lights to be added to walking trails

Three young Sylvan Lake residents appeared before Council recently to present their ask

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Town of Sylvan Lake recieves funding to help with COVID-19 related revenue losses

Minister Devin Dreeshen says the funding will help the Town pay staff and provide services

City of Wetaskiwin Mayor presenting the AUMA Above & Beyond Award to John Maude and Susan Quinn. Ren Goode/ City of Wetaskiwin.
Wetaskiwin County residents win the AUMA Above & Beyond Award

John Maude and Susan Quinn are being recognized for their role in Wetaskiwin’s sustainability.

Conservative leader Erin O’Toole rises during Question Period in the House of Commons in Ottawa on Wednesday October 28, 2020. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)
Conversion therapy ban gets approval in principle, exposes Conservative divisions

Erin O’Toole himself voted in favour of the bill, as did most Conservative MPs

Pilots Ilona Carter and Jim Gray of iRecover Treatment Centres, in front of his company’s aircraft, based at Ponoka’s airport. (Perry Wilson/Submitted)
95-year-old Ilona Carter flies again

Takes to the skies over Ponoka

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a daycare in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. Alberta Children’s Services Minister Rebecca Schulz says the province plans to bring in a new way of licensing and monitoring child-care facilities. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Alberta proposes legislation to change rules on child-care spaces

Record-keeping, traditionally done on paper, would be allowed digitally

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau shakes hands with US Vice-President Joe Biden on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Friday, December 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
A Biden presidency could mean good news for Canadian environment policy: observers

Experts and observers say even a U.S. outside the Paris agreement may ultimately end up in the same place

People take a photo together during the opening night of Christmas Lights Across Canada, in Ottawa, on Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2019. The likelihood that most Canadians will enjoy a holly jolly Christmas season of gatherings, caroling and travel is unlikely, say public health experts who encourage those who revel in holiday traditions to accept more sacrifices ahead. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Ho, ho, no: Experts advise preparing for a scaled-back COVID holiday season

Many of the holiday season’s highlights have already been scrapped or are unlikely to take place

Sen. Kim Pate is shown in Toronto in an October 15, 2013, file photo. The parliamentary budget office says a proposed law that would give judges discretion on whether to apply a lesser sentence for murder could save the federal government $8.3 million per year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Colin Perkel
Judicial discretion for mandatory minimum sentences for murder would save $8.3M: PBO

The result would be fewer people in long-term custody at federal correctional institutions, experts say

Husky Energy logo is shown at the company’s annual meeting in Calgary on May 5, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Husky pipeline spills 900,000 litres of produced water in northwestern Alberta

The energy regulator says environmental contractors are at the site

Most Read