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Hudson's Hope police report: Important ice fishing safety tips

Though the ice may appear thick, levels below can vary in depth, resulting in different thicknesses of the ice within a short distance
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When venturing out onto the frozen lakes, take the time to test the ice thicknesses as you go and equip yourselves with safety equipment

Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to 30 calls for service between Dec. 12, 2022, and Jan. 19, 2023. Thirty-eight written violations and warning tickets were issued to drivers between the above dates for various motor vehicle related offences. Highway and road safety continues to be a focus for the Hudson’s Hope RCMP.

On Dec. 18, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP observed a known individual walking throughout local parking lots and residential yards. This individual was observed walking up to random vehicles and testing the door handles to see if they were unlocked. Police intervened before any access was gained and an investigation proceeded. The individual was released with a warning and no further incidents have been reported.

On Dec. 19, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP attended a single motor vehicle accident along Highway 29 in which the driver swerved to avoid colliding with a moose, resulting in the vehicle sliding into the ditch. The driver nor Mr. Bullwinkle were injured, however the vehicle incurred minor damage.

On Dec. 20, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to a residential structure fire in town. It was found upon investigations, that the fire was deemed accidental due to a space heater being utilized in a small crawl space under the main floor to thaw out frozen pipes. No major injuries were incurred by the homeowner and based on the quick response by the Hudson’s Hope Fire Department, the fire was confined to a small area of the residence.

On Dec. 31, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP conducted check-stops during the eve of New Years to conduct enforcement for impaired driving. Police stopped and checked several motorists that evening and as a result, two motorists were charged for impaired driving. Based on the investigations, one driver received a 90-day driving prohibition and a 30-day vehicle impound while the other driver received a three-day driving prohibition and a three-day vehicle impound. The duration of driver prohibition and vehicle impound lengths, differs depending on the level of intoxication and impaired history of the driver.

On Jan. 10, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP conducted a vehicle stop after police observed a vehicle travelling through the marked school zone at a confirmed speed of 68km/hr. It was found that the attached licence plates on the vehicle were stolen and the driver was confirmed to be a prohibited driver. Subsequently, the driver was charged for possession of stolen property and driving while prohibited, along with several other Motor Vehicle Act fines. File remains open for court proceedings.

On Jan. 10, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP received a report of an ATV incident that occurred on Williston Lake. It was reported that two individuals had ventured out onto the ice of Williston Lake on ATVs for purposes of ice fishing, when they hit a thin area and broke through the ice. Both individuals escaped taking a Northern icy bath, but both ATVs ended up being submerged for some time until later being retrieved. No major injuries were incurred to the riders.

As a reminder for all ice fishing enthusiasts, venturing out onto the local lakes during the winter months, though the ice may appear thick in some areas, the levels of the beds below can vary in depth, resulting in different thicknesses of the ice within a short distance. As a safety note, when venturing out onto the frozen lakes, take the time to test the ice thicknesses as you go and equip yourselves with safety equipment, ie: ropes, In-Reach devices, etc., and always advise someone as to an estimated date/time of return should a major incident occur.

On Jan. 13, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to a report of a vehicle fire along Canyon Drive. Police located a single vehicle on fire and later located the driver who was found unhurt. Based on the investigation of the file, it was learned that the vehicle fire was non-accidental and that the owner had decided to light their own vehicle on fire for unknown reasons. Later in the day, police interacted with the same individual for another police incident and based on the circumstances of this incident, the individual was detained and transported to the Fort St. John Hospital.

On Jan. 15, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP conducted a stop of a motorist along Robson Road. after it was believed that the driver may be operating a motor vehicle while impaired. Based on the outcome of a road-side sobriety test, the driver was confirmed to be impaired and received a three-day driving prohibition and a three-day vehicle impound.

On Jan. 15, the Hudson’s Hope RCMP responded to a report of a damaged power pole along Clarke Avenue. Police attended scene and located a power pole that had been hit by a commercial vehicle, resulting in the pole being partially shifted, resulting in a live line being dislodged from the insulator and loose of power for several residents within town and area for several hours. Police located the vehicle that had hit the power pole and based on the investigation, the incident was deemed accidental.

On Jan. 16, after receiving several reports over the previous month for vehicles that were not stopping for school bus signs when students were being dropped off at their designated school bus stops, police conducted patrols along the school bus routes. Based on the patrol this day, no motor vehicle infractions were observed. Police will continue to monitor these reports.

As a reminder, once a school bus has come to a complete stop, the bus driver is required to extend the stop arm and activate the red flashing signal lights prior to opening the door of the bus. If a school bus is stopped to pick up or let out passengers with the stop arm and signal lights activated, all drivers must stop and not pass whether the bus is oncoming or you are behind the bus. Vehicles shall not proceed until the bus has completely let out or picked up all passengers and started moving. In British Columbia, the first offence penalty for illegally passing a school bus is $368 and for drivers who receive a second ticket, the fine will be $668, and a third offence will run a motorist over $1,000 for that third offence alone.

Anyone with information regarding current or past investigations can contact the Hudson’s Hope RCMP directly at 250-783-5241 or anonymously through Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Visit http://crimestoppersnebc.ca for advice on submitting tips online and to browse the areas “Most Wanted” page.


Cst. Erich Schmidt is Acting Detachment Commander of the Hudson’s Hope RCMP

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