Keremeos fire chief Jordy Bosscha is outraged after video and pictures were taken by a bystander and then posted to the internet from a fatal collision that occurred Friday night on Highway 3.
“I think it’s disrespectful and I don’t get what the thrill of it is,” he said during a phone interview Wednesday morning. “All I can hope is that they never have to go through that with their loved one. They’re in pain and discomfort… and someone has a video camera or a phone shoved in their face while people are trying to work on them.”
Bosscha has noted an upward trend in people taking pictures and video at collisions and fires over the recent years but actions of some bystanders during a collision that claimed the life of a local man prompted the longtime chief to speak out.
On Friday, July 21 just before 6 p.m. a collision occurred where Ashnola Road and Highway 3 meet about 10 kilometres west of Keremeos.
A pickup truck was crossing the highway to get to a small road on the other side. Police said the truck pulled out in front of an east travelling Audi.
Firefighters had to extricate the 79-year-old local man from his vehicle. He later died of his injuries in hospital. The young driver of the Audi suffered non-life threatening injuries.
“So we have this serious collision happen and we are working to get this man stable and basically this person was on the hood of the truck taking video as we are working on this man,” he said. “We’re there trying to do a job and save someone and these people walk through what we’re doing to try and get a photo or take a video. They step on cords, they get in the way. This all slows us down when we are trying to help someone.”
Bosscha would like everyone to remember the people in the vehicles that are smashed up are actually someone’s loved one.
“You’re putting that out there on Facebook or whatever and people are watching it. In this case the person ended up dying and there is video out there of them in pain.”
He also wanted to remind motorists not to slow down to gawk or take pictures and video when first responders are working at collisions or other emergencies as that can cause further accidents.
“I really don’t understand what this is about but we see it all the time. People need to keep going at the speed of traffic or it’s going to cause another collision and other people are going to be hurt,” he said.
Bosscha hoped by speaking out on the issue that maybe next time there is a collision someone would stop and think about the person’s family before they whipped out their phone to snap a picture.
“Maybe these people that have the time to do this should come out and volunteer. We’re always looking for help but nobody wants to step up.”
The name of the man that was killed in the collision has not yet been released.
No charges have been laid against those that took pictures at the scene. The collision is still under investigation.