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Police watchdog investigates after one dead in crash on B.C.’s Highway 97A

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck.
The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police "E" Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on Friday April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck.

B.C.’s police watchdog is investigating the actions of a Vernon North Okanagan RCMP officer after a driver died following chase on a B.C. Interior highway.

The BC RCMP said Sunday that they’ve notified the Independent Investigations Office of an incident that resulted in one man’s death and one woman being taken to hospital.

Read more: Vernon RCMP investigate white supremacist leaflets, identify possible suspect vehicle

The Mountie saw what was believed to be an alleged stolen vehicle travelling south on Highway 97A on Sunday at around 3 a.m., RCMP said.

“The frontline officer attempted to stop the vehicle which had come to a stop in a shallow ditch near McCallan Road and the driver was pronounced deceased at the scene,” police said.

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Click to play video 'Truck destroyed by flames near Highway 97 south of Vernon' Truck destroyed by flames near Highway 97 south of Vernon
Truck destroyed by flames near Highway 97 south of Vernon – Sep 7, 2020

A woman, who’d been in the passenger seat, was transported to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Read more: Logging truck rollover in North Okanagan, 2 injured, say police

Highway 97A remained closed in both directions for several hours near Armstrong, and a detour was in effect via Canyon Road.

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The highway was reopened around 5:30 p.m., according to DriveBC.

The watchdog is investigating to determine whether police action or inaction played a part in the man’s death.