Inquest into death of Austin Eaglechief reaches day 3
A police collision reconstructionist said the crash that killed Austin Eaglechief happened at a high rate of speed.
Sgt. Barry Low told the coroner’s inquest that data from the stolen Chevrolet Silverado showed Eaglechief was travelling 162 kilometres per hour 2.5 seconds before the collision on Circle Drive on June 19, 2017.
The pickup’s speed was dropping and hit 107 moments before colliding with a Toyota Tundra moving around 27 km/h.
The doctor who conducted Eaglechief’s autopsy said the man died in a matter of seconds or minutes.
Dr. Shaun Latham said Eaglechief died from blunt-force trauma to the head and had a laceration on the left side of his forehead.
He added it’s unlikely any life-saving measures would’ve helped the man.
The incident stems from a stolen vehicle earlier that morning.
Police received a call from someone who said their lifted Silverado had been stolen around 4 a.m. CT.
Officers found the car, attempted to pull it over but the driver sped off.
A four-minute chase ensued, but officers were called back.
Later that day, officers spotted the truck again and pursued it with police cars and a police plane.
Eventually, the driver pulled into the cul-de-sac on Clearwater Place and temporarily stepped out of the vehicle.
Police moved in hoping to apprehend the suspect, but he got back into the truck and rammed into a police car, sending it backwards and sped off.
Officers started a pursuit and the driver was weaving through traffic along Circle Drive near the Idylwyld Drive overpass.
Police cars approached and the driver sped off westbound on Circle before striking the Tundra at Airport Drive.
Sgt. Aaron Moser was driving one of the police cruisers pursuing Eaglechief in the lead up to the crash.
Moser said before attending the scene, he had to go back to the police station so he could drive a tactical support unit vehicle because it had push bars – unlike the regular police cruisers.
He added Saskatoon Police Service would benefit from having push bars at the front of all police vehicles, noting it could’ve prevented Eaglechief from evading police when they had him pinned in the cul-de-sac.
The passenger in the pickup was supposed to appear Wednesday afternoon, but a decision was made to remove Matthew Gamble as a witness following a meeting between him and Eaglechief’s mother.
The final two witnesses are expected to take the stand on Thursday.
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