West Kelowna  

Police spiked stolen car

UPDATE: 10:30 p.m.

West Kelowna RCMP say a blue Mitsubishi Lancer involved in a crash with a police cruiser Saturday, near Peachland, had been stolen from Oliver about 45 minutes earlier.

Cpl. Jesse O'Donaghey says police had been deployed to support emergency crews at the Mount Eneas wildfire when they first noticed the stolen Lancer entering the south end of Peachland, at about 2 p.m.

O'Donaghey says after the theft, multiple complaints were made to police about the vehicle driving erratically, and adds the driver evaded police in Penticton and continued driving northbound on Highway 97.

Police successfully deployed a spike belt on the Lancer along the highway near Buchanan Road. However, the suspect continued driving, and rammed an unmarked police SUV before being steered off the road by another police cruiser. The driver was then arrested without incident.

A 29-year-old Oliver man is now remanded in custody in Kelowna and could face criminal charges, police said.

Witnesses who have not yet spoken to police are asked to call West Kelowna RCMP at 250-768-2880.

UPDATE: 4:00 p.m.

A witness to the collision that closed Drought Hill earlier Saturday says a police officer in an RCMP SUV was waiting at the bottom of the hill, and pulled out into traffic in an attempt to stop a blue car that was heading northbound.

The witness said the car tried to go around the police cruiser, but the officer managed to block the car, resulting in the collision.

Another unmarked police SUV moved in to block the driver of the car from escaping, and ended up forcing the blue car into the ditch.   

It's unclear why police were targeting the blue car, or if anyone was injured in the collision. 

UPDATE: 3:25 p.m.

The incident on Drought Hill Saturday afternoon involved an RCMP SUV, and Castanet has received reports that a police-involved chase ended in the crash. 

A motorist who was stuck in the backup said he saw a smashed up Mitsubishi Lancer get towed away from the scene on a flat-deck truck, followed by an RCMP SUV on a separate truck. 

The motorist said traffic has begun to move, and he has since gotten past the crash scene. 

The cause of the crash has not yet been confirmed.

ORIGINAL: 3:05 p.m.

An incident on Highway 97, north of Peachland, has brought traffic in the southbound lanes to a standstill Saturday afternoon. 

One motorist tells Castanet he's been stuck near the Okanagan Connector junction since 2:30 p.m., and he's seen several police cars go by. 

Traffic cameras in the area show hundreds of vehicles at a standstill on Drought Hill, backed up past Glenrosa Road.

DriveBC reports that an assessment is in progress, and warns of heavy delays. 

The nature of the incident is unknown at this time. The Mount Eneas wildfire closed the highway between Summerland and Peachland earlier in the week, and caused heavy delays once the highway opened to single-lane, alternating traffic, but there are no wildfire-related closures on the highway today. 

Castanet will provide more information as it becomes available.

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