IIO finds no police wrongdoing after man injured in crash near Courtenay

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. Declassified records show RCMP intelligence officials devised a secret Cold War plan to use a hidden briefcase camera to photograph Communists and Soviet Bloc officials travelling through Toronto's airport. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

British Columbia’s police watchdog has found no official wrongdoing after a police pursuit near Courtenay, B.C. ended in a crash that left a man with serious injuries.

The incident happened at approximately 12:40 p.m. on July 9, when a Comox Valley RCMP officer was conducting radar enforcement on Headquarters Road.

Mounties say the officer was driving northbound when they observed a speeding southbound vehicle near Bridges Road.

The officer made a U-turn and attempted to catch up to the dark-coloured sedan.

The car crashed into a utility pole and the driver was ejected. Police found him in the ditch a few metres from the vehicle, police said.

Paramedics attended the scene and the man was taken to hospital with serious, non-life-threatening injuries.

On Monday, the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) said it was concluding its investigation of the officer’s actions after investigators determined the man’s injuries did not meet the threshold of serious harm as defined by the Police Act.

"Statements from two independent witnesses and video footage from the police vehicle confirms that the police vehicle remained some distance from the sedan throughout the attempted stop," the IIO said in a statement. 

“The officer was acting appropriately in attempting to conduct a traffic stop,” the IIO added.

The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in B.C. The agency investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of police wrongdoing.