RCMP questioned over woman's death

The driver killed last week as part of a police chase in Salmon Arm has been identified as 21-year-old Cherryville resident, Courtenay Brianne Eggen.

An update from the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) states the accident took place at approximately 12:15 a.m. on June 21, when an RCMP officer in Salmon Arm attempted to conduct a traffic stop.

In the initial press release issued by the IIO, it was reported that the vehicle stopped, before abruptly fleeing once the officer approached the vehicle. They have since clarified their statements to say the vehicle did not stop at any point and immediately fled when the officer attempted to stop it.

After a short chase, the officer is said to have terminated the pursuit, apparently only seconds before Eggen crashed her car into a dump truck parked alongside Auto Road SE.

The IIO’s release makes no mention of a damaged police car, but witness accounts along with photos from the scene paint a different picture.

"I don't believe for a second that the RCMP called off the chase as they are reporting. What about the cop car crash? They are not even mentioning that," says Salmon Arm resident David Johnson, who adds that the police vehicle suffered two flat tires on the passenger side, along with a damaged trunk from where it appears to have crashed into a building.

"The RCMP car that was chasing the suspect flew off the road and hit my friend's shop. It went off an embankment and down 30 feet where it hit the building. It had a flat tire and it was smashed up. That's why they gave up the chase, because they crashed."

Photos from the scene clearly show a damaged RCMP cruiser, but there is no evidence to support the assumption that they did not call off the chase as has been reported.

“It has got to stop, it's BS. The RCMP have to be held accountable for this," continues Johnson.

"There is no way the RCMP gave up the chase. I have a friend who saw them flying down the road at over 140 kilometres an hour chasing that girl. Moments later my buddy heard the crash. And I have the photos to prove it."

In response to an email sent from Castanet to the IIO seeking details about the damaged police car, a spokesperson replied, “I have no information on a damaged police vehicle and we received no reports of other injuries.”

Photos 2 and 3 (below) show the damaged RCMP cruiser that IIO says they know nothing about.

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