Animal Rights Activists Claim Trucker Murdered Protester, Investigation Continues
Burlington, ON – As friends and family mourn the loss of an animal rights activist killed last week after she was struck by an 18-wheeler hauling livestock, anger towards the trucker online intensifies.
The family of 65-year-old Regan Russell of Hamilton has confirmed she was killed while protesting outside of Fearmans Pork meat processing facility at Appleby Line and Harvester Road around 10:20 a.m. Friday.
As of Friday evening, investigators from the Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) were still on-scene and no charges had been filed against the trucker.
HRPS has remained silent on the issue over the weekend and into Monday, neither formally identifying the trucker nor the victim.
Animal rights activists, however, have been extremely vocal, talking to various media news outlets around the world as well as voicing opinions on social media about the events surrounding Russell’s death.
“The truck driver who was driving hundreds of pigs to their death did not care about a human life either and decided to run her over and crush her to death,” admins of the Facebook group Dismantle Speciesism wrote, following Russell’s death.
The group doubled-down, also writing, “It was murder, according to the witnesses. The driver initially stopped, and then immediately drove into her and did not stop until she was split in half and dragged her body until the security forced him to stop.”
In direct opposition of Dismantle Speciesism‘s claims, local Martin Foebel was having breakfast in the Wendy’s parking lot across from Fearmans as the accident happened.
Foebel told The Hamilton Spectator he did not believe the trucker was aware of Russell’s presence.
“The truck was there for about four or five minutes. The protesters were there. Then they walked away from the truck when they were done,” Foebel recalled.
“Then I saw a woman in the front there … I assume the truck driver thought he was clear to go and didn’t see that last protester,” he stated.
Additionally, Mark Powell, Russell’s long-time partner, told The Hamilton Spectator he is still unclear how his loved one “ended up under the truck.”
As of publishing, no videos have publicly surfaced showing Russell being stuck by the truck.
However, footage uploaded by Kieran Hayes claims to show the big rig waiting to turn into the facility “two minutes” before the fatal accident.
In the 11-second video (below), viewers can see Russell standing in the middle of the road looking at the truck while Hayes states, “So this trucker just won’t come in, so he’s forcing us to bear witness in a very, very dangerous place.”
Hayes’ comment regarding “bearing witness” is referring to an agreement between Fearmans and protestors, where trucks are to stop for two minutes to allow protesters to “say goodbye to the pigs and give them water,” according to long-time animal rights activist Anita Krajnc, who was not present the day of Russell’s death.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has reached out to HRPS and will update with additional information as it becomes available.