The driver of the SUV who overtook vehicles across a double solid line before crashing into the rockface on Highway 97 near Peachland was already known to police and prohibited from driving.
On Friday, Nov. 26, around 3:45 p.m., BC Highway Patrol from Kelowna was conducting stationary speed enforcement on Highway 97 near Brent Road in Peachland. An officer observed a southbound SUV travelling over the posted speed limit and signalled it to stop. The driver of the SUV kept going, with no attempt to stop for the officer, said BC Highway Patrol in a release.
The officer pursued the vehicle and attempted to close the distance on the SUV which, by that point, was a long way ahead according to police.
That’s when Brendan Miller’s rear dashcam caught video of the SUV overtaking vehicles across double solid lines, narrowing missing a head-on collision with a semi before losing control and crashing into the rock face on the highway. At the 1:20 minute mark of the video is when the SUV can be seen losing control and smashing into the mountain.
According to police, the driver then attempted to flee on foot but was quickly apprehended by the officer. The driver, who is known to police, was taken to hospital for treatment of the injuries he sustained in the collision.
The highway was closed in both directions for about an hour.
As in all cases where an individual is injured and there is a nexus to police involvement, this case was referred to the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO BC) for review, said BC Highway Patrol Cpl. Mike Halskov.
On Monday, Nov. 29, the IIO BC concluded that the injuries sustained by the driver did not meet the threshold for further involvement from its office and won’t be conducting an investigation or commenting on the incident.
The incident continues to be investigated by BCHP in Kelowna.
The driver is facing potential criminal charges for failing to stop by police, dangerous driving, 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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