l-r: Vancouver Police Chief Constable Adam Palmer, Brian Haddon, Graham Haddon and Vancouver Police board member Sherri Magee.

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SFU Pipe Band brothers recognized by VPD for bravery

January 19, 2016
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Two Langley brothers, both members of Simon Fraser University’s world renowned Pipe Band and SFU students, have been awarded the Vancouver Police Board's highest civilian honour, the Certificate of Merit, for their roles in saving a life in August 2014.

The two are among a group of individuals being honoured by the VPD at a ceremony today at the Roundhouse Community Centre.

Brian and Graham Haddon are being recognized for their role in assisting at a motor vehicle accident in Vancouver. At the time of the incident, the pipe band members (Brian, a piper and Graham, a drummer) were driving with their family along Marine Drive in morning rush hour on their way to the Vancouver airport—en route to the World Pipe Band Championships in Scotland, a trip that they make annually to compete with the SFUPB.

As they passed beneath the Knight Street overpass they heard horrific screams after a motorcyclist, waiting to merge onto Marine Drive, appeared to have been run over by an SUV coming down the ramp. As they drove past they saw a woman, still straddling the motorbike, pinned under the front of the SUV.

The family pulled over and the brothers jumped out, running back into rush hour traffic and attempted to lift the SUV off the motorcyclist.

Together with their father and another motorist they were able to provide enough space between the woman on the ground and the car that she could be slid out.

“The traffic was heavy and moving quickly at that time of the day and we were very concerned that all of the people involved at the scene had the potential to be injured by the passing cars being driven by distracted drivers, most looking at the rescue effort instead of the road—some even taking pictures with their phones as they drove past at 60+ kph,” recalls mom Lori Haddon. ”It was a very dangerous situation for everyone involved.”

Haddon says during the rescue Brian sustained a burn to his calf from the exhaust pipe of the motorcycle while holding the SUV up in the air, but held on despite the pain, as he knew that the woman beneath could be injured further if the SUV moved lower and squeezed her body between the SUV and the road.

Once the motorcyclist was out of danger on the side of the road the Haddons rendered first aid to her until the Vancouver Fire Department crew arrived. As soon as the VFD took over her care, the family got back on the road in time to make the flight to Edinburgh.   

Brian, 20, is a third-year health sciences student and hopes to become a Vancouver police officer. Graham, 19, is in second year arts but is studying sciences and math, with the goal of pursuing a degree in biomedical physiology and kinesiology. After he completes his degree at SFU he will train to become a respiratory therapist.

The brothers have been members of the SFUPB organization since 2002, when they were barely school-aged (seven and five years old), advancing through all the levels of the Robert Malcolm Memorial Pipe Band, the juvenile division of the SFUPB. They won the World championship with the Grade 3 band in 2012—and that same year, were promoted to the elite senior band.