Professional runner Gary Robbins, pictured here at the Mind Over Mountain adventure race on Vancouver Island in 2018, was run off the road by a pickup driver on a Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Facebook)

Professional runner Gary Robbins, pictured here at the Mind Over Mountain adventure race on Vancouver Island in 2018, was run off the road by a pickup driver on a Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Facebook)

Professional runner nearly killed by pickup driver on rural Chilliwack road

Gary Robbins said the driver came at him intentionally while he was in the bike lane

Professional trail runner Gary Robbins has spent countless hours in the woods of British Columbia dodging roots, rocks and mud, even the occasional wild animal.

But while training for a road race on a rural Chilliwack road on Wednesday, Robbins came face to face with real danger: An angry man in a pickup truck running him off the road.

Robbins was doing speed training just after noon along Prairie Central Road. He was running west in the bike lane against traffic, as runners and pedestrians are advised to do where there are no sidewalks.

Injuries sustained by professional runner Gary Robbins after a pickup driver intentionally nearly hit him on a rural Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Gary Robbins photo)

Up ahead he saw a pickup truck dragging a trailer towards him in the middle of the bike lane. He could see the driver looking right at him and not moving out of the bike lane. At the last second Robbins was forced to jump off the road. He landed on a slick, muddy area and he wiped out, hit the pavement leaving him scraped and swollen.

RELATED: Gary Robbins runs 100 miles on treadmill in garage to raise money for B.C. Search and Rescue

RELATED: Chilliwack’s Gary Robbins maps out epic trail across eight mountains

“He was pulling the trailer down the middle of the bike lane just enough to give him the chance of not killing me but ruining my day,” Robbins said Thursday, adding that he is used to trail running rather than road running.

“I told my coach, I’d rather deal with bears. Bears don’t drive trucks.”

Asked if there was any chance the driver didn’t see him, in the middle of the day, with overcast skies, Robbins said he knows he saw him because their eyes met.

“I really wish I could give him the benefit of the doubt but he looked at me right before, a second before I had to jump and he didn’t swerve.”

Robbins isn’t seriously injured, although he did report the matter to police. Given how fast it all happened, he didn’t get a make or model of the pickup truck, but it was pulling an enclosed trailer with lettering on it. He thinks it had a “J” or a “K” or both.

If he could say something to the driver?

“Honestly, I would like that person to have to stand in front of me and my wife and our five-year-old son and just look us in the eyes for 60 seconds. If this person had misjudged the width of their trailer by a few inches, my son might not have a father today and it’s not an exaggeration to say that could have happened.”

RELATED: Pedestrian struck by vehicle once every five days in Chilliwack


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email:
editor@theprogress.com

@TheProgress
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Injuries sustained by professional runner Gary Robbins after a pickup driver intentionally nearly hit him on a rural Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Gary Robbins photo)

Injuries sustained by professional runner Gary Robbins after a pickup driver intentionally nearly hit him on a rural Chilliwack road on Dec. 9, 2020. (Gary Robbins photo)

Just Posted

Langley Township Civic Facility. (Langley Advance Times files)
Housing, RCMP, Fort roads all discussed at Langley Township budget meeting

A Monday meeting touched on priorities for this year and beyond

Table for sale took a bit more work than first thought. (Mariana Aramburu/Special to The Star)
Ryan’s Regards: Clearing the clutter

Most New Year’s resolutions are abandoned by this point in the year

Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or in writing.
LETTER: Cloverdale man said public pressure only convinces church goers they are right

Engageing churches in discussions on how to reduce transmission would be more effective than bans

When the pandemic forced the shut down of playgrounds in Langley this past Spring it sparked creativity for these Langley grandparents Herb and Cherri Kwan, who found themselves picking up a paint brush to help keep the local kids occupied. (Bernadette Amiscaray/Special to Langley Advance Times)
PHOTOS: Pandemic park closures spark artistic rock creations for retired Langley grandparents

Herb and Cherri Kwan started hiding painted rocks in Routley Park when playground closed

Shortreed Community Elementary. (Langley School District/Special to the Aldergrove Star)
Parent Advisory Council raises concerns over Langley school district power outage response

Fifteen teachers at Shortreed Community School in Aldergrove staged a sit-in strike last Wednesday

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Nurses collect samples from a patient in a COVID suspect room in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver, Tuesday, April 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
5 British Columbians under 20 years old battled COVID-19 in ICU in recent weeks

Overall hospitalizations have fallen but young people battling the virus in hospital has increased

Most Read