Police chase preceded fatal crash: witness
CTV British Columbia
Published Tuesday, October 30, 2012 7:21AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, October 30, 2012 10:08PM PDT
Witnesses say Mounties were engaged in a car chase with a suspect vehicle shortly before a fatal collision in Langley Monday night.
The Independent Investigations Office, which has been tasked with probing the crash, says a truck raced into a speed trap near 240 Street and 0 Avenue at around 5:30 p.m.
The driver allegedly fled when officers tried to stop him, and minutes later slammed into another car down the street. The second driver was killed.
Authorities have confirmed few other details about the incident, but witness Chris Walker told CTV News he saw a police car with its sirens blazing trailing close behind the suspect vehicle about two kilometres down the road from the eventual crash site.
“This [truck] must have been doing 160, 180 kilometres an hour. I don’t think that truck could have gone any faster,” Walker said, adding that police were “absolutely” in pursuit.
IIO chief civilian officer Richard Rosenthal would not confirm whether a chase had taken place, but said the officer’s actions are under investigation.
“That’s what the investigation is about, is to determine was there any kind of pursuit? Were the officer’s actions appropriate according to policy and law?” Rosenthal said.
Another witness suggested that if a pursuit had taken place, it was over by the time the crash occurred.
“There was no police chase at the time we seen him. He basically chose to run that intersection all his own,” said Morey Wilson.
A suspect driver was arrested at the scene.
Since the IIO opened in September, civilian investigators have responded to eight cases across the province related to deadly or serious incidents involving police.
With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Michele Brunoro and files from The Canadian Press