Highway 17B will be closed down tomorrow, April 24th, 2016 within the community of Garden River. The demonstration is planned from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will close the highway from the city limits of Sault Ste. Marie to west of Dinelle’s General Store in Echo Bay, a total of 15 kilometres. Motorists can still access Highway 17B by using side streets off of Highway 17.
The residents are closing the highway to raise public awareness of the many deaths (an estimated 35) that have happened along that stretch, and that a justice system that has failed them time and time again.
Rose Nolan, was fatally struck by a drunk driver in 1981.
Members of the Vincent Family were killed in 2001 when the car they were in collided with a truck that crossed into their lane: Keon (38) and Lana (35), sisters Brianna (9) and Shania (5) and cousin Karly-Ann Barry (6). The 19 year old driver, Joseph Crozier was fined $1,000 for reckless driving, placed on probation and banned from driving for three months. Two Sault OPP officers were disciplined related to the investigation (neglect of duty).
In 2007, a car struck a tractor trailer head on, and the 71-year-old driver of the car was killed at the scene.
In 2013, Jessie Roach was found in an eastbound lane about 500 metres west of Bell’s Point Road. Terry Mosher, 73, was charged with obstruct a peace officer and fail to report accident. He was found not guilty.
Just last week, a fatal collision claimed the lives of two motorists involved in a two vehicle collision that closed Hwy 17B for nine hours.
The bypass was opened in 2008, and offers motorists the ability to go around the communities of Garden River and Echo Bay.
An expected 400-500 residents are expected to participate, and are encouraged to wear red and white. Pamphlets will be offered to motorists that will explain the community’s concerns. Sault Ste. Marie Police Service and Anishinabek Police Service, will participate in Monday’s event.