A Sunderland woman had an unfortunate run-in with an RCMP motorcade as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited Pickering on Wednesday (March 27).
Jane Toner was heading to work following a volunteer visit to Uxbridge Cottage Hospital when she involved in an accident with one of the vehicles in the motorcade along Highway 401.
She said the motorcade – which she thinks was comprised by at least eight unmarked vehicles – entered the highway as a tightly-formed group at Liverpool Road, quickly moving across lanes of traffic before one of the vehicles “sideswiped” her car.
“I saw the black vehicles entering so I moved to the middle lane and they just accelerated like mad and moved over. They didn’t put their lights – small, internal police-type lights – on until they were half in my lane. Two vehicles in front, the rest were beside me on the right and behind me,” she said.
“All I could do was take my foot off the gas to try to slow to get out the way because I was boxed in – on three sides by them with regular traffic to the left. Then the minivan vehicle just sped up and cut me off, hitting my front passenger side. There was a very loud crunch and scraping noise when it happened, so I knew he knew he did it. Luckily, I was able to keep control of the car.”
While she wasn’t injured, Toner said she was shaken up by the accident and was momentarily concerned when the vehicle that hit her briefly continued to travel down the highway.
“I didn’t think he was going to stop. They were unmarked cars, so I started accelerating again and it took a second or two but he started to signal and moved over to stop. There were still two of their vehicles behind me so they probably told him to, they (the drivers) were all connected with their little ear pieces,” she said.
When contacted by The Brock Voice, the RCMP offered a brief statement on the accident.
“We can confirm that a minor contact took place with an RCMP motorcade on the 401 yesterday…There were no injuries and very minor damage to both vehicles. Durham Regional Police has looked into the matter, which is now closed,” it reads.
No charges were laid, according to the RCMP, though Toner said the responding officer didn’t even speak to her.
At the time, she had no idea that the motorcade was transporting the Prime Minister, who toured the Pickering Public Library on Wednesday morning.
In addition to arranging the needed repairs to her car, Toner jokingly noted that she’s also going to start to work on another project.
“I’m going to start a petition that the RCMP should only be allowed to ride their horses until they learn how to drive automobiles,” she said.
“If Trudeau would like a safer driver, I’m available. I was accident-free until this. It ruined a perfect record.”