British Columbia

'This is such a victory': charges laid in flagger hit and run

Brenda Ouma Aregay has been charged with two counts of assault with a weapon, two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of failing to stop at the scene of an accident and two counts of assault.

Brenda Ouma Aregay faces several charges, including 2 counts of assault with a weapon

Bystander video shows the moments before a construction flagger was hit by an SUV in Burnaby, B.C., on June 28, 2017. (

Charges have been laid in the horrific hit-and-run of two Metro Vancouver construction flaggers.

Burnaby RCMP have charged 38-year-old Brenda Ouma Aregay of Surrey, B.C., with two counts of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, two counts of failing to stop at the scene of an accident, and two counts of assault.

The disturbing incident was caught on camera. The video shows a motorist trying to edge into traffic from a lane that was blocked off. The driver aggressively merges into the lane, striking and running over a construction flagger who was managing the traffic. Police confirm the flagger was sent to Royal Columbian Hospital and treated for head injuries.

Another flagger was hit shortly after by the same driver.

According to police, moments after the hit and run, the suspect was also involved in an assault on two children related to her, although police would not comment on the nature of the relationship.

'Such a victory'

Veteran flagger Dianne Herback welcomes the charges.

Earlier this week, Herback called for protests on Metro Vancouver bridges which would have shut down traffic during rush hour. At the time, she alleged the Crown was not going to lay charges.

She believes the threat of protest paid off.

"This is such a victory," she told CBC News. "It might not seem like a big one to other people, but for us, it's huge."

"We don't want to have to threaten," she said. "And now that we know that we have some sort of backing form the justice system and our province, it makes us feel a whole lot better."

"Thank you to the government and our justice system for recognizing we are people, and all we're doing is our job. We're not just something you can run over and get away with it."

WARNING: This video may disturb some viewers