Jacquie Dennis

Alberni truck crash victim speaks out

Alberni resident Stephone Dennis is recovering from a leg broken in two places below the knee after being hit by a pickup on March 30

Port Alberni resident Stephone Dennis had plans of finding a job for the summer. Instead, he will spend the next several months recovering from a severely broken leg.

Dennis is one of three people who were hit and pinned by a pickup truck last Saturday morning on Sixth Avenue.

Dennis’s leg is broken two places below the knee and he now has a metal rod inserted to stabilize his lower leg.

His friend, Cam Johnson, 18, suffered a more severely broken leg and is recovering in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. Belinda Hainsworth, 42, suffered a broken pelvis, broken legs and a punctured lung. She remains in hospital in Victoria.

“I’m the least hurt out of all of us. My friend’s leg is really bad, worse than mine. And she is worst off. I really feel bad for her,” Dennis said from his bed at West Coast General Hospital.

The male occupants of the truck fled the scene. A police dog was deployed and subsequently captured one adult male and one male under age 17 a few blocks away.

The driver of the truck, Travis Foord, 19, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder. The youth wasn’t charged.

The investigation isn’t complete and more charges could be pending, police said.

According to Dennis, things started when he had an altercation with an unknown male walking along the street. “We beaked off back and forth, swore and some punches were thrown. Then he walked away and that was it,” he said.

Shortly after, Dennis said he, his brother Fabian and Hainsworth were standing in front of a residence on Sixth Avenue when they spotted a truck approaching.

“It revved its engine then gunned right for us,” Dennis said. “I tried to push away but I didn’t make it. We got hit but my brother got out of the way in time.”

Police found a truck on its side with one person trapped under it, and two people laying injured nearby, RCMP Const. Steve Dupuis  said. The truck had also crashed into a residence, causing extensive damage.

Rescue crews from the Port Alberni Fire Department freed the man underneath the truck, and he and the other two injured people were taken to hospital.

Dennis expected to be out of the hospital on Thursday but he faces a long rehabilitation both physically and mentally. “I still have nightmares about this,” he said.

Dennis’ mother Jacquie found out about the accident when an ex-boyfriend texted her about it shortly after it happened. “I was freaked because I couldn’t find anything out. For all I knew my son was dead,” she said.

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