The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) has cleared a Victoria police officer of any wrongdoing in a high-speed, four-car collision that sent three people to hospital, one with serious injuries.
The crash occurred just after midnight on Aug. 24, 2019 at the intersection of Bay Street and Government Street when the driver of a pickup truck attempted to flee from a police vehicle.
According to the IIO's investigation into the incident, an officer spotted a white pickup truck near Gorge Road East and Rock Bay Avenue and activated the emergency lights on his marked cruiser to stop the driver.
The truck then accelerated down Rock Bay Avenue with the officer pursuing for up to three blocks before calling off the chase.
The pickup then continued southwards, where it turned left onto Bay Street before running a red light at Government Street and slamming into three vehicles, injuring all drivers involved. After the collision, the driver of the pickup fled on foot but was arrested several blocks away.
The IIO's chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald examined witness accounts, closed-circuit video recordings and police records of the incident and determined that the officer that first spotted the truck did nothing more than attempt a standard traffic stop. MacDonald adds that that the officer made the appropriate decision to end the pursuit when the truck fled at high-speed.
"What happened after that was the direct result of the actions of the pickup's driver," said MacDonald in his report.
One victim of the crash suffered serious injuries and was off work for a number of weeks. His injuries included a broken ankle, lacerations, muscle damage and bruising.
The drivers of the two other vehicles involved also suffered less severe injuries, and one nearby pedestrian suffered minor injuries.
A high-speed collision caught on camera last night at Douglas and Bay streets in #Victoria. Multiple vehicles involved and a close call for one cyclist.
Waiting for more details for police and will have updates on @CTVNewsVI pic.twitter.com/yOCMsWmIYh