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IIO finds no grounds for charges against police after 2 teens killed in Burnaby crash

Samir Ali (left) and Yasbirat Ytatek were killed when their car was struck by another vehicle in Burnaby, B.C., on July 26, 2022. Samir Ali (left) and Yasbirat Ytatek were killed when their car was struck by another vehicle in Burnaby, B.C., on July 26, 2022.

British Columbia's police oversight agency has found no reasonable grounds for charges against Metro Vancouver Transit Police officers after two teenagers were killed and two other people were injured in a 2022 crash in Burnaby.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. said Friday it had closed its investigation into police conduct in the failed traffic stop, clearing the officers of wrongdoing. However, the agency said it would not release its full report publicly until an ongoing police investigation into the matter has concluded.

The transit police had tried to pull over a Nissan Altima "being driven erratically" around 11 p.m. on July 26, 2022, the department said following the incident.

The vehicle then struck a Toyota Yaris at the intersection of 10th Avenue and Sixth Street, fatally injuring a 17-year-old occupant from Burnaby and an 18-year-old from Vancouver.

The male driver and female passenger in the suspect vehicle attempted to flee the crash scene on foot but were quickly caught and arrested. They were both taken to hospital with injuries.

Cory Robert Ulmer Brown was later charged with two counts of criminal negligence causing death, one count of driving while disqualified, and one count of flight from police. His next court appearance is scheduled for March 12 in Surrey.

Friends identified the 18-year-old crash victim as Samir Ali, an Ethiopian refugee who was set to attend the University of British Columbia on a full scholarship. The other victim, Yasbirat Ytatek, was also from Ethiopia and still in high school.

The teens were travelling home from a soccer game when they were struck and later died in hospital.

The chief civilian director of the IIO reviewed forensic evidence from the scene, as well as video and medical records before finding there were no grounds to recommend charges of police misconduct, the agency said in a news release Friday.

The IIO is an independent police watchdog that investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death in B.C., whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.

With files from CTV News Vancouver's Becca Clarkson Top Stories

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