Arrested Highway 13 truck driver says he never refused a tow
Published Monday, March 20, 2017 6:11PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 20, 2017 6:25PM EDT
The truck driver involved in the Highway 13 fiasco who was arrested on the weekend says he never refused to be towed.
Police said that Palwinder Singh Johal allegedly refused to co-operate with a tow truck driver when his vehicle got stuck and blocked Highway 13 South.
He was arrested Saturday morning because of a warrant for his arrest in Ontario, and could face charges of mischief in Quebec.
Last week the towing company said it was called at 7 p.m. Tuesday March 14 to deal with an 18-wheeler that had jackknifed in the snow.
Towing company owner Mike Burstall said the tow truck arrived at 8 p.m., but that the truck driver refused to let the tow truck driver touch his vehicle.
The towing company asked for police assistance, and SQ officers arrived at 1 a.m. and ordered the removal of the vehicle.
But Johal describes a very different version of events.
He said his truck got stuck in snow at 8 p.m. last Tuesday, and that police on the scene ordered him to move -- but he could not.
Johal said it was more than six hours later -- at 2:30 a.m. -- when a tow truck driver arrived.
"My client accepted. He wanted to get out of this," said Charles B. Coté, pointing out his client never refused to co-operate.
"He was filming and there were trucks in front of him. How can you explain that?" said Coté.
Johal is now considering a defamation lawsuit against the SQ.
"Obviously they're trying to find a guilty party and they are not ready to look at their own actions," said Coté.
Two investigations are underway to determine exactly what led to the stranding of hundreds of drivers on Highway 13 last week.
Two SQ officers have been suspended, as has been a civil servant with the Ministry of Transportation.