Queen City Patrol hunting for a new ride after van is ‘write-off’ after crash

The Queen City Patrol logo is seen on the side of the van the group used to make its way around the city. A recent accident, though, has left it in SGI's scrap yard. Justin Bukoski / Global News

A week after it celebrated its one-year anniversary, Regina’s Queen City Patrol has been dealt a significant setback.

While out collecting used IV needles and other paraphernalia Saturday evening, the van used to transport items and volunteers was involved in a serious accident.

“A couple of volunteers were out and stopped at an intersection for a pedestrian crossing and the fellow behind them didn’t stop,” according to Queen City Patrol founder Patty Will. “They were completely stopped and the guy behind them was going at least 50.”

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Photos taken by Queen City Patrol volunteers show the aftermath of the collision. Facebook / Queen City Patrol
Photos taken by Queen City Patrol volunteers show the aftermath of the collision. Facebook / Queen City Patrol

Will says three volunteers were in the van at the time, all of whom are sore with bumps and bruises but who escaped without major injuries.

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But she says that the van is a write-off and that without it, operations will not be possible.

“The drivers’ seat broke. The rearview mirror went flying. There was glass everywhere,” she says.

“Because we do a driving patrol and cover the entire city, we can’t do anything without a vehicle. So we’re dead right now. We’re totally out of commission until we can replace the vehicle.”

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Last week Global News spoke to Will shortly after Queen City Patrol’s one-year anniversary.

In their first 365 days, the group picked up nearly 28,000 IV needles, she said.

At the time, she told Global News that the number of needles and other drug paraphernalia collected has increased in recent months — a trend that she said makes the hunt for a new vehicle feel especially urgent.

“The fact that we’re not going to be on the streets for at least a week is probably putting another thousand needles on the streets,” she says.

Read more: Canada’s other health-care crisis: the epidemic of fatal drug overdoses

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Will says that due to the vehicle’s age, any insurance payout is likely to be small.

Thus, the organization has launched a fundraiser with the hopes of raising enough money to buy a new van.

Will says the organization is eyeing a 12-passenger van that is up for sale at a local car auction, but estimates that the patrol will need to raise at least a few thousand dollars to make the purchase.

“Any little bit will help — even Sarcan bottles,” Will said. Right now we’ll take anything that will help us out.”

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