West Kelowna  

Police investigate erratic driver who crashed on Hwy 97, then fled on foot

Erratic driver crashed, ran

Contributed Brendan Miller

BC Highway Patrol has taken over the investigation into a crash on Highway 97 south of Peachland that happened Friday and brought traffic to standstill during rush hour.

BC Highway Patrol was conducting speed-control enforcement at approximately 3:45 p.m. when a lone officer spotted a southbound SUV travelling over the speed limit. The officer signalled for the driver to stop, but the driver ignored the officer and made no attempt to stop.

The officer attempted to close the distance on the SUV but it had sped away and was some distance from the officer, who tried to maintain a visual of the vehicle and saw it lose control and crash into the rock face adjacent to the highway.

Despite the severity of the collision, the driver of the SUV attempted to flee on foot after the crash but was quickly apprehended by the officer. The driver of the SUV, who is known to police, was taken to hospital for treatment of injuries sustained in the collision.

As is the case when there are injuries as a result of a police chase or police involvement, this case was referred to the Independent Investigations Office of BC for review. On Monday, the IIO BC concluded that the injuries sustained by the driver did not meet the threshold for further involvement from the police watchdog.

The driver is facing potential criminal charges for failing to stop for police, dangerous operation of motor vehicle, possession of stolen property and prohibited driving. West Kelowna RCMP is also assisting with the investigation.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact BCHP in Kelowna at 250-491-5354.

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