It all happened in a moment.
Nelson resident Gerrit Stafford was crossing Front St. on Tuesday, right near Ellison’s Cafe, when a green car maneuvered in his direction. He was sure he’d checked for traffic both ways, but before he could react the motorist mowed him down along with his dog Danny.
“Danny went under and then I followed,” Stafford told the Star two days after the accident. An open pink wound was still visible on Danny’s head, while Stafford had suffered a concussion.
“I figure (Danny’s wound) happened when the car was passing over us. His head must have caught on the muffler or something like that. It was like going through a turbine.”
Stafford theorized that the driver “choked,” because he didn’t brake until after passing over the man and the dog. The motorist stopped nearby, and ultimately co-operated with the Nelson Police Department when they arrived on the scene.
According to a police press release, Stafford clutched the leash and yelled “stop” before being hauled under the car along with Danny.
“By the time the police officers arrived, both the man and the dog were up on their feet. The pedestrian was reluctant to allow the ambulance staff to transport him to the hospital as he could not bear to leave his trusty friend behind,” reads the release.
“Knowing that his dog was in good hands, the man agreed to attend to the hospital for tests. The officers took custody of the seven-year-old dog and delivered him to the owner’s home as he requested.”
Stafford feels lucky to have emerged relatively unscathed, and now plans to advocate for a crosswalk or more lighting in that area.
“Traffic is crazy compared to years ago. We used to never even have rush-hour traffic,” he said.
Another example of this occurred two days early, when numerous citizens called the police to report a female pedestrian being struck outside Finley’s Bar and Grill. According to the police, the vehicle “was travelling at high speed in the 600 block of Vernon Street.”
“The witnesses reported that after charging through the intersection at Hall Street and striking down the woman, narrowly missing two others, the vehicle continued along Vernon Street without slowing. Further down Vernon Street two figures were seen fleeing from the vehicle,” reads the release.
“Police and ambulance attended to find a mother of two children injured on the pavement. She was stabilized at the scene and transported to a local hospital.”
Police located the driver shortly after the incident. A local man was arrested and taken into custody. Alcohol was a contributing factor in this collision.
“The Nelson Police Department are continuing their investigation and are anticipating delivering a report to Crown Counsel recommending numerous serious criminal charges,” reads the release. “Miraculously, the woman is now at home recovering from her injuries. She is, understandably distressed!”