“HE WAS IN THE WRONG PLACE AT THE WRONG TIME”
VERNON - Andrew Raab walked the same route to the Upper Room Mission for lunch every single day, not because he couldn’t afford food—he paid for all his meals—but because he liked the company.
“He didn’t like being alone, he liked being out in the community,” his daughter, Frances Raab, says.
He was always cracking jokes and could spark up a conversation with anyone, Frances says. At 86, he still lived on his own and was in great health. The automotive and aircraft engineer built many things in his life—race cars, helicopters, house boats, and houses. His last creation was a motorized three-wheeled bicycle that allowed him to get around in his later years.
“Andy believed if he could dream it, he could build it and that he did. He was unstoppable and full of life right until his last day,” Frances says.
Around 2 p.m. Jan. 14, 2015, Andrew was walking along 27 Avenue, just a few doors down from the Upper Room Mission, likely on his way home from lunch. The ensuing accident was sudden; a vehicle reversed out of a driveway and backed over Andrew, knocking him off his feet. The vehicle proceeded to then move forward, running back over Andrew a second time, Frances says.
Andrew was rushed to Vernon Jubilee Hospital with a shattered pelvis and crushed lung. He fought hard for 13 days, telling his family he wasn’t ready to die. He was recovering well, but then his lungs filled with fluid and he was gone.
“It’s a sad way to end a life,” Frances says.
Police know who the driver is; he stayed at the scene and told officers he looked before reversing but didn’t see anyone in the way.
“The person who claims to have looked not only didn’t look but also didn’t know someone was underneath their car,” Frances says.
The family has received sparse details from the RCMP about what happened, Frances says, and they’re hoping an eye witness can help fill in the blanks. They believe police had a witness, but that the individual fled the scene. The family is now pleading with anyone who saw the accident to come forward to police and share what they know.
“We just don’t want his death to be meaningless,” Frances says.
RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk says the detachment is working with the B.C. Coroners Service on the file. Investigators are currently awaiting a report from the RCMP crash analyst.
“With the result of that report, there is a possibility a report to Crown counsel will be forwarded to determine if charges will be laid,” Molendyk says.
Those charges could include backing up unsafely or driving without due care and attention. It’s also possible the driver will be penalized under the Motor Vehicle Act, not the Criminal Code.
Police have already interviewed several people in relation to the accident, Molendyk says, but would be interested in speaking with any other witnesses that have yet to come forward.
You can contact the Vernon RCMP at 250-545-7171 or remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).
Andrew Raab was an automotive and aircraft engineer.
Image Credit: Contributed
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