Brooklyn Sidorchuk at Penticton Regional Hospital where she was taken after the accident. (Submitted photo)

Penticton teen hit by car while trying to avoid possible drug user in underpass

A local teen was hit by a car after crossing the highway instead going by a possible drug user

Fearing a threat from a possible drug user, a Penticton teenager made a decision that could have cost her life.

The afternoon of June 1, 13-year-old Brooklyn Sidorchuk was returning to the family home in Sun Leisure Mobile Home Park from Skaha Beach when she saw man in the bridge underpass she believed was “shooting up.”

“I saw him sitting in the tent over there and he was just sort of (weaving back and forth) and I honestly felt so uncomfortable, I didn’t want to go through there, I’ve never felt afraid like that before,” said Brooklyn, who was at the Okanagan River Channel bridge underpass again Tuesday morning with her mom Meghan looking at the drug-related syringe and sodium bicarbonate packages among the debris and bedding in the unlit passageway.

Brooklyn Sidorchuk suffered bruises and scrapes to much of her body. (Submitted photo)

“I don’t think he saw me and it was a big tent and I didn’t know if there was anybody else inside.”

Added her mother: “She didn’t want to get pulled inside and potentially get raped was what it was.”

From there, Brooklyn left and went back along the beach and up to the highway where she squeezed through a gate and started crossing the highway.

A few minutes later Meghan got a call she will never forget.

“All we could hear was her crying and saying, ‘I’ve been hit by a car and it hurts so bad,’” recalled Meghan.

“We knew instantly where she was. At that point I ran, I ran out of my house to the parking lot and my husband was able to get in the car and drive to the scene of the accident.”

When her parents arrived they found emergency personnel and an off-duty nurse attending to her daughter lying on the side of the road.

“Brooklyn was just apologizing over and over again, ‘I’m sorry mom, I’m sorry mom. I thought I could make it. I didn’t see him,’” said Meghan.

“The fact that Brooklyn felt the need to apologize just sunk my heart because she knows she made a mistake, but at the same time she knows she felt unsafe going through the bridge.”

As it turned out, after she was transported by ambulance to Penticton Regional Hospital, it was determined that Brooklyn suffered only scrapes and bruises.

Brooklyn Sidorchuk and her mom Meghan at the underpass where she says was a tent pitched and a man she believed was using illegal drugs. (Mark Brett – Western News)

According to Meghan, the driver of the vehicle remained at the scene and her daughter has even extended an apology for putting him in such a “horrific situation.”

Neither mom or daughter believe crossing such a dangerous, four-lane stretch of road was a smart thing to do, but for Meghan the problem goes much deeper than simply bad judgment.

“The main reason we decided to go public with this is not to raise awareness on homelessness or the drug problem, because the public already knows that but that the drug use is so out in the open and Penticton has become a trash can of needles and junkies, and all the theft and crime,” said Meghan.

“It’s gotten worse and worse and I think the fact that Brooklyn chose to cross the highway instead of have a possible interaction with somebody who was taking drugs and had set up the tent because she felt she was in danger.

“The problem with the druggies has gone on for so long that it’s now happening in places that are supposed to be safe places for the kids.

“The passage way under the bridge was supposed to be her safe way home and she couldn’t take that route because she didn’t feel safe.”

Brooklyn agreed: “I don’t feel people should be camping in a place like this (underpass) that are supposed to be safe places and there should be some sort of things for the disposal of needles and stuff like that so a little toddler doesn’t come through here and step on it.”

Brooklyn Sidorchuk is attended to by paramedics at the accident scene. (Submitted photo)

Meghan feels that as the opioid problem continues to spiral there is increasing pressure not only on adults, business and home owners but the city’s youth, including her daughter, are becoming “unintentional victims.”

READ MORE: Drug use/vandalism issues reduces Penticton public washroom availability

Just keeping kids from becoming addicts is a struggle enough for parents nowadays she added.

To that end, Meghan and her mother have written to Penticton’s mayor and council about the problem and received feedback from many councillors and Mayor John Vassilaki, who has offered to sit down with the Sidorchuk family to talk about their concerns.

READ MORE: Penticton RCMP said drug addiction driving crime rate

“I don’t have all the answers right now but we need to see what we can do as a community to protect our children, something has to be done,” said Meghan.


 

@PentictonNews
newstips@pentictonwesternnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


 MarkBrett
Send Mark Brett an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

 

One of the many scrapes Brooklyn Sidorchuk suffered after being hit by a car. (Submitted photo)

Brooklyn Sidorchuk in the back of the ambulance on the way to the hospital. (Submitted photo)

Just Posted

Penticton resident allegedly has rear car tires stolen

The resident woke up today to find their back tires missing and their car on blocks

Funding sought for family of 15-year-old Summerland girl with cancer

Treatment will involve two weeks in hospital, followed by eight to 10 weeks recovery at home

I’m Just Saying: Our society needs a re-sex education lesson

Jordyn Thomson is a reporter with the Western News

LETTER: Universal pharmacare program needed

Millions of Canadians are waiting for this historic step

Gallery: South Okanagan toy drive a hit again this year

Pen High was the site of the annual Toys for Tots to Teens event against this year

Video: Magicians and Bubble Wonders highlight Penticton Shriners Variety Show

The annual fundraiser filled the Cleland Community Theatre on Sunday.

Sagmoen’s lawyer argues ‘abuse of power’ in police search

The trial of Curtis Sagmoen continued at the Vernon Law Courts on Friday

Swoop airlines adds three destinations in 2020 – Victoria, Kamloops, San Diego

Low-fair subsidiary of WestJet Airlines brings new destinations in April 2020

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Woman struck, dog killed after collision on Highway 97

Speed is not believed to be a factor and alcohol has been ruled out

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Drug alert for purple fentanyl issued in Kamloops

Interior Health issued an alert for the deadly drug on Friday

Most Read