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.


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

Vernon teams harvest bronze medals

Vernon’s Atom A and C development hockey squads each finish at home tournament

Vernon Panthers shut down South Kamloops

Top-ranked Cats roll to 27-0 victory over Titans at Greater Vernon Athletics Park

Vernon Vipers win fifth straight

Matt Kowalski scores in overtime as Snakes stop Trail Smoke Eaters 3-2 at Kal Tire Place

Rain in forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap region

Mixed bag of clouds, sun and showers forecast for the week ahead

Vernon Lotto 649 ticket matches five of six numbers and bonus

Ticket in Saturday’s draw bought in Vernon and is worth nearly $32,000

Summerland council agrees to 30-year lease with steam railway

Tourist train has been operating as an attraction in Summerland since 1995

Speeding a concern on Summerland streets

Police observe fast motorists in town and on Highway 97

Greta Thunberg meets with First Nations chief in Fort McMurray

Thunberg has turned her protest against climate change into a global movement

Canucks hang on for 3-2 win over Rangers in New York

Vancouver scores three times in first period

More beef products recalled due to possible E. coli contamination

The food safety watchdog has been investigating possible E. coli 0157:H7

Roads contractor waits for snow removal equipment as winter looms

The newly-hired highway maintenance company serving the region is hitting some bumps… Continue reading

Most Read