Several reports last week have indicated an erratic driver potentially targeting vehicles on Highway 3 late at night.
One source, who asked to not be named, said that she was driving from Yellowknife to Fort Simpson last Thursday with her partner when they passed a truck sitting on the side of the road with its headlights on.
She said as they passed she saw a guy with long black hair standing on the passenger side of the vehicle on the other side of the road. As they drove passed, they saw the truck turn around to follow them.
She said even as they drove fast down the highway “he was flying after us.” He followed them for about 20 to 30 minutes, she said, until they eventually lost him around the intersection of highways 1 and 3.
“I felt sick to my stomach,” she said. “We’re not going to be driving at night anymore.”
She said she was initially too scared to report the incident to the police, but when she saw another Facebook post about a similar situation between Behchoko and Yellowknife, she decided another call would add weight to the severity of the situation and put pressure on the authorities to look into it.
She suspects the man is targeting women.
“He must have thought I was by myself,” she said, explaining that her partner was initially asleep on the passenger side with his seat all the way back. “I don’t know what he wanted. Maybe he was trying to kidnap me.”
When she called the police, they said they would check the highway cameras. She identified the vehicle as a black SUV.
Linda Croft, who works at the Big River Service Centre outside of Fort Providence, said she wasn’t working over the weekend so she didn’t see anything, but she has been hearing about the incident and the Facebook posts have been circulating.
“It almost seems like they want them to stop,” she said. “I’m hoping it’s just some weirdo out there trying to scare people but, like I said, I wouldn’t be stopping.”
RCMP spokesperson Marie York-Condon confirmed the police did receive a call on Aug. 10 about “erratic driving” on the evening of Aug. 4.
She said there’s no indication of a pattern and that “as there was no description of the vehicle, RCMP were unable to follow up.”
“In general, RCMP recommend people practise safe driving habits. As with any travel in our remote territory, a person should be prepared, advise family or friends of departure, destination, and estimated arrival. Carry supplies with you in case of unexpected motor or vehicle problems,” York-Condon said.
Croft too reminds drivers that there is an emergency line on the Deh Cho bridge, that Big River is open until 11 p.m. and that there’s a phone at the front desk of the Snowshoe Inn at Fort Providence. She recommends trying to get into town as quickly as possible.
“Find the nearest populated spot and get help,” she said