Time “felt like it stood still” said a witness to a high stakes chase down Westside Road that ultimately put Mounties in the line of fire July 31, 2012.
Carole Faye took the stand in Michael Ellis’s attempted murder trial Wednesday and told the court she was in the passenger seat of her family’s SUV, driving along Westside Road just a couple kilometres north of Bear Creek, two years earlier when they slowed to a stop for a family of mountain goats.
There were two cars between them and the animals, when a minivan came rolling along at a fast clip.
It stopped somewhere between the goats and her vehicle as the occupant of a Subaru ahead waved them down, seemingly to bring attention to the goats in the middle of the road.
His good deed didn’t go unnoticed.
“(A man from the minivan) went to the driver’s side of the blue Subaru, pointing something at the window and he seemed quite frantic,” she said.
“At first I couldn’t tell what it was, but then I could see he was bashing the butt end of a gun into the window… it seemed quite forceful — like he was trying to break the glass.”
The court heard earlier that the occupant of the vehicle was Mark Langnead and his then 11-year-old son.
Faye said that the man with the gun looked frantic.
“His body was jerky, and he was banging the gun quickly. His eyes seemed very wide. Fiery. Just frantic,” she said.
The confrontation lasted about 30 harrowing seconds and was ended when a woman appeared.
“She gestured to him, like ‘come on’ to the man with the gun,” she said.
He appeared to pay attention and hopped into the passenger front seat, while she went around to the driver side.
Then they drove away, “as fast as a minivan can go.”
“Time felt like it stood still, but I’m sure it went faster than that,” she said. “The whole incident was two to three minutes.”
When they left, everyone who had been caught up in the intense event got out of their cars.
Langnead started calling 911, while Faye ran around to see how his son was doing.
“He was very shaken up,” she said. “He wasn’t crying. He looked scared. Looked pale and was talking quickly about how afraid he was and what happened.”
As she continued to speak with the boy, and Lagnead continued on talking to the 911 operator, police vehicles came up from behind.
With that she realized that they hadn’t just witnessed an episode of road rage, and that something much more serious was afoot.
Motorists and witnesses caught up with the violent outpouring have continued to take the stand over the last two weeks of Ellis’s trial as the crown retraces the events that started on Boucherie Road.
Ellis is facing more than 20 charges, including five counts of attempted murder, several counts of robbery and weapons offences.