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Speeding RCMP cleared of wrongdoing in Armstrong 2021 crash

Two occupants were seriously injured after passing officer at high speed

An independent investigation has wrapped up into a pursuit between a speeding vehicle and an RCMP officer that ended in a crash in 2021 near Armstrong.

The officer attempted to pull over a vehicle that passed him at a high speed on Highway 97A north of Armstrong Dec. 1, 2021.

The suspect vehicle did not stop and shortly after crashed, with the two occupants seriously injured.

Because of the potential connection between serious harm and the actions of a police officer, the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) was notified and commenced an investigation.

Chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald’s report, released Jan. 23, 2023, clears the RCMP of any wrongdoing, except for speeding.

It also points out that the driver of the suspect vehicle was a prohibited driver and tested positive for cocaine upon admission to the hospital.

In a 100 kilometre an hour zone, the officer was recorded travelling 171 and was recorded by dispatch saying, “trying to close the distance. He (suspect) even passed me.”

“This was a case in which the officer failed to adhere to RCMP policy, which reflects provincial motor vehicle law,” MacDonald said.

When the target vehicle did not stop, the officer should have simply turned off his emergency equipment, pulled over and stopped.

“Canadian police forces have now recognized that continuing a high speed pursuit in response to a relatively minor offence by a suspect has the potential to create a greater risk of harm than it prevents, to everyone involved and to the general public.”

MacDonald has chosen to refer the officer’s driving behaviour to the RCMP to be dealt with internally, instead of a consideration of a speeding ticket.

READ MORE: B.C. police watchdog investigating after two men injured in crash near Armstrong

READ MORE: South Okanagan man gets additional 424 days in jail


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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