Monday’s Daily News headline looks back a year to a tragic accident along the Bulkley River and how local First Nations will remember Ernie John by staring a three day fundraising memorial walk from Prince Rupert to Moricetown.
WALKERS START LONG JOURNEY IN MEMORY OF TRAGIC DRIVER
They hope to raise funds needed to carry on search for Ernie John’s body
By Kris Schumacher
The Daily News
Monday, June 18, 2007
It’s been nearly a year since the fatal day when Ernie Johns tragically passed away in a motor vehicle accident.
But thanks to the work of Gitskan RCMP and First Nations youth from Gitwangak; John’s untimely death will be remembered during a three-day fundraising memorial walk from Prince Rupert all the way to the accident site in Morricetown.
On June 23, 2006, the young man was driving along the gravel road next to the Bulkley River when his vehicle slid into the water. The car sank immediately in the Bulkley’s swift current, and he perished in the water. Neither John, nor his vehicle was recovered in the subsequent search by the Moricetown Volunteer Fire Department even though the search has continued.
It is believed the vehicle is beneath around 100 metres of water.
While efforts to recover the vehicle and the body of Ernie John have been ongoing, the attempts have been very expensive.
Participants in this week’s memorial walk will be raising funds to help fiancé the on-going recovery project.
The memorial walk will officially start with an all-clans memorial feast taking place in Nisga’a Hall on June 19, commencing at 6 p. m. The walk will begin the next morning at the hall with opening ceremonies at 8 a. m. Participants will then walk for the following three days and arrive in Morricetown on the one-year anniversary of the accident, where there will be a closing ceremony.
The parents of Ernie John will be dedicating a plaque commemorating the walkers for the support they have shown for John.
Anyone interested in donating to the cause, can attend the Memorial Feast at Nisga’a Hall, or do so through the Bulkley Valley Credit Union, “In memory of Ernie John.”