By Kristian Rasmussen
A Calgary man is now under house arrest for striking a flag person with his car and driving down the highway with the roadside worker on the vehicle’s hood.
In Invermere Provincial Court Friday, May 25th, Calgary man Bill Luu, 30, pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, a charge from an incident on February 28th, 2011, when Mr. Luu ignored the directions of flag person Gary Lucko during a winter road closure.
The court heard that Mr. Lucko was flagging by the Radium Hot Springs pools on Highway 93 when he instructed Mr. Luu to pull over into an adjacent parking area because the road was closed.
Mr. Luu refused to obey the flagger and proceeded to drive through the road closure.
Mr. Lucko stood in front of the vehicle and continued to tell Mr. Luu to pull over.
In response, the Calgary man drove forward and struck Mr. Lucko in the legs with his vehicle.
Fearing for his safety, the flagger jumped onto the hood of the car and desperately grabbed the windshield wipers while Mr. Luu continued to drive down the icy highway at a speed of 20 kilometres per hour.
Mr. Lucko tried unsuccessfully to smash out the windshield of the vehicle with his portable hand pad to get Mr. Luu to stop, and after a 200-metre ride on the hood, Mr. Lucko fell off the vehicle.
The Calgary man managed to stop and avoid running over Mr. Lucko.
Mr. Luu then reversed his vehicle into a car of witnesses which was following behind.
After getting up from the harrowing ordeal, Mr. Lucko and Mr. Luu exchanged heated words about the validity of the road closure.
Police quickly arrived and arrested Mr. Luu for dangerous driving.
“This is the last thing that a person based in that occupation should be faced with,” Crown Counsel Andrew Mayes told the courtroom.
According to Crown Counsel, Mr. Lucko began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder soon after the incident and has not worked since. The Calgary man said that he was also suffering from major depression at the time of the incident.
As a result of Mr. Luu’s actions, Judge William Grant Sheard ordered him under a four-month conditional house arrest sentence, six months probation, and a two-year driving prohibition.
“I really regret what happened,” Mr. Luu said. “I was being denied by the universe at every turn. I was never angry at the flagger. I was angry at the simple fact of not being able to go home.”