Lynn Pinchbeck (left) and Michelle Hudson, owner and operator of Integrity Traffic Control Training, get a hug from Teala Rowe, who travelled from the coast for the Day of Mourning held in Armstrong on Saturday as people gathered to honour those killed or injured on the job. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Fallen flagger remembered

Armstrong Day of Mourning draws traffic control industry

The wounds of loss felt in the traffic control community were re-opened Saturday.

Workers from various companies throughout the North Okanagan (and as far as the Lower Mainland) gathered at the IPE grounds for Armstrong’s inaugural Day of Mourning.

“It is important that all of us as a community workplace come together to pay tribute to workers who have died on the job,” said organizer Michelle Hudson, owner and operator of Integrity Traffic Control Training.

“Some of us are here today because we’ve been hurt ourselves, I’m sure there are quite a few of us who have had close calls.

“And some of us may have lost family members and co-workers because of these incidents.”

That rings true for all those in the traffic control industry, following the death of a colleague last year.

“Last November was a really hard day for our industry,” said Hudson. “Unfortunately it still seems like yesterday and our wounds are still very open.”

She remembers the details of that life-changing phone call she received saying there was a traffic control person who was hit on Highway 6.

Like many in the industry, the calls of concern went out to loved ones until some answers were found.

Isabelle Burroughs was on the job in Lavington on Nov. 17 when she was hit by a car. The 66-year-old battled in a hospital for nearly three weeks before she died as a result of her injuries.

“She fought so hard for many weeks to heal but there was just too much trauma to be repaired,” said Hudson.

The loss of a friend, colleague and community member was too much for Hudson to sit idly by and do nothing.

“This is how I knew I had to do something to make our industry a safer place to work.”

So with the help of the City of Armstrong, she helped bring the first Day of Mourning to the community and helped those who lost a loved one mourn.

“That’s how we now have our first annual day of mourning in Armstrong,” she said.

Burroughs was one of 16 road workers who were killed in the last 10 years.

Vernon also observed the Day of Mourning, but on Friday.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Organizer Michelle Hudson, owner and operator of Integrity Traffic Control Training, speaking about her friend and fellow flagger Belle Bourroughs during the Day of Mourning service held in Armstrong on Saturday. (Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star)

Just Posted

WATCH: $2,600 buzz cut for Vernon man

Richard Rolke raises nearly $3K for CMHA’s crisis line with fund ‘razor’

‘We are not seeking a handout,’ Enderby drive-in owner says

Touched by fundraising efforts, Starlight says show support by coming to the movies instead

$113K boost for North Okanagan charities on COVID-19 frontline

Partnership between United Way and Community Foundation supports organizations from Vernon to Revelstoke

Highway 97 near Falkland reopens after crash

A motor vehicle incident on Douglas Lake Road put the brakes on traffic

WATCH: New home for Vernon family

Single mom, two kids new residents of Habitat for Humanity’s first completed project in Vernon

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

Flood watch for Salmon River upgraded as high temperatures, rain forecast

Shuswap Emergency Program warns residents to prepare now for possible extreme flooding

Man who bound, murdered Vancouver Island teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

RCMP request public’s help in locating missing Salmon Arm man

Ken Derkach is a familiar face to many, one of the city’s residents who is without a home

Booze on Kelowna beaches? Mayor says ‘not at the moment’

Mayor Colin Basran says alcohol in public spaces is not on council’s radar right now — but that could change

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

VIDEO: Police look for suspect seen tripping elderly woman in Burnaby

The elderly woman was walking near the SkyTrain station when she was randomly tripped

Drunk man on a dirt bike and prohibited drivers without insurance keep Shuswap RCMP busy

Other calls resulted in excessive speed tickets and the arrests of two prohibited drivers

Most Read