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B.C. cop who drove in wrong lane during chase-turned-crash cleared of wrongdoing

The driver of the suspect vehicle had several fractures and cuts to his ear, scalp
Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters in Vancouver, on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

A Vancouver police officer won’t be facing charges in a head-on crash that seriously injured the driver of the suspect vehicle.

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced Friday (March 1) that no charges were approved against the officer whose vehicle crashed into a suspected stolen vehicle on March 3, 2020.

The suspect driver reportedly refused to stop for police, which led to the officer driving in the opposite lane and hitting the suspect vehicle head-on while going at speeds between 40 and 50 km/h. The driver is the suspect vehicle was seriously injured.

Because of the injuries, the crash was investigated by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C.

In his report, chief civilian director Ronald MacDonald said there were reasonable grounds to believe the officer may have committed offences in how they operated the vehicle. MacDonald forwarded the report to the prosecution service to consider charges.

However, the prosecution service said Friday that the available evidence doesn’t meet its charge assessment standard, adding that it is “not able to prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the officer committed any offence in relation to the incident.”

READ MORE: Man collides with Vancouver police vehicles several times, suffers ‘serious injuries’

It was on March 3, 2020 that Vancouver police officers saw a vehicle they believed to be involved in criminal activity and was possibly stolen in the area of 39th Avenue and Cambie Street. They attempted to pull over the driver.

The driver, a man, avoided the traffic stop, and hit the police vehicle as he did so.

Over the next 15 minutes, “matters escalated” with officers attempting to stop the suspect vehicle by hitting it with their own police vehicles.

The Independent Investigations Office said there were five crashes “of varying severity” between the suspect vehicle and different police vehicles.

In the last crash, the officer’s vehicle hit the suspect vehicle head-on as it was travelling along Main Street. The driver had fractures in his nose, hip, knee and heel, as well as cuts on his ear and scalp.

Lauren Collins

About the Author: Lauren Collins

I'm a provincial reporter for Black Press Media's national team, after my journalism career took me across B.C. since I was 19 years old.
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