The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of B.C. has concluded an investigation into a fatal vehicle accident in Kelowna earlier this year.
The IIO has determined that a delayed police response to the crash scene almost certainly did not contribute to the driver’s death.
The single-vehicle rollover occurred on June 1 at Highway 97 and the UBC-Okanagan off-ramp.
According to the IIO report, a citizen called police at 1:15 a.m. to report signs of an apparent collision, including vehicle debris and damage to road-side barriers at the edge of the highway but no actual vehicle.
The caller had initially stated the location was near University Way but then corrected himself, indicating it was closer to the John Hindle Road off-ramp.
The report stated an officer was sent to the scene but went to the intersection at University Way – as indicated by the dispatcher – instead of the John Hindle Road off-ramp, about 1.2 kilometres away.
The officer saw no signs of a collision and left the scene.
According to the report, it was five hours later when a person walking on the nearby Okanagan rail trail came across the rolled-over vehicle.
The male driver had been ejected from the vehicle and was pronounced dead on scene.
The report stated that a post-mortem examination of the deceased revealed extensive injuries which would have resulted in a rapid death.
The report concluded that the man would likely have died well before the initial call to police was made, approximately 45 minutes after the collision.
In addition, IIO investigators confirmed that the resting location of the vehicle could not be observed from the highway where it went off the road near the John Hindle Road off-ramp. The collision location error would, therefore, not have changed the unfortunate outcome.
The IIO determined that the death of the man was not the result of police actions or inaction.
The IIO is an independent civilian oversight agency of the police in B.C. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.