A protester who fell off a ladder during a blockade of the highway leading to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal Monday morning remains in hospital with a “life-altering” injury, organizers claim.
Trevor “Red” Mckelvie fell roughly 20 feet off a ladder structure that the group had erected on the Patricia Bay Highway near McDonald Road Park in Sidney and shattered his pelvis, according to Save Old Growth.
A video — now removed — that was uploaded to an Instagram account called @Save.Old.Growth showed a large structure with a protester on top of it falling to the ground.
“This is a devastating and life-changing injury. We do not want to risk our lives by inconveniencing people, but this is what it’s come to,” Sophia Papp, one of the organizers, said in a press release.
Save Old Growth, which is demanding the B.C. government pass legislation to immediately end all old-growth logging in the province, has launched a GoFundMe for Mckelvie.
They say that after Mckelvie was taken to hospital, doctor’s determined that his pelvic injury is significant and requires hours of surgery. They also say doctors have told Mckelvie that he will require a lengthy recovery and potential life-long health complications.
“Besides the complex operation(s), prolonged recovery (6 months to a year), and potential life-long health complications (e.g. mobility and arthritis), financial difficulties await Red since it is impossible for him to go back to his previous physically demanding carpentry work,” reads the GoFundMe, which says donations will “partially go towards medical equipment to help him walk again and live at home when he is discharged from the hospital as well as transportation to and from medical appointments.
Save Old Growth claims that a driver compromised the ladder’s support structure, causing it to collapse and RCMP are investigating the matter.
“There will be an investigation conducted to determine whether or not the fall was caused by criminality or not, or what led to that fall,” said Cpl. Alex Bérubé, spokesperson for the BC RCMP.
The Save Old Growth group says it’s aware the blockades are creating anger and frustration among drivers and say they don’t expect people to support them but they do want them to support the issuse of saving old growth forests and tackling climate change.
“The important part is not that people agree with our tactics so much but our demand, so the fastest way to get us off the road is enact legislation, call your MLA, call John Horgan and get them to enact legislation to protect old growth forests across B.C.,” said Sophia Papp, a Save Old Growth Coordinator.