No charges will be laid against members of the Edmonton Police Service after Alberta’s police watchdog completed an investigation into a fatal collision in 2018.
In a Tuesday news release, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team said on Sept. 30, 2018, a man died and a woman suffered a broken arm after a truck fled from police and slammed into a power pole.
Officers were patrolling the area of 84 Street and 106 Avenue shortly before 10 p.m. when a vehicle driving in front of them ran a stop sign at 90 Street and Jasper Avenue.
The officers turned on their emergency lights and the truck sped up, driving through a red light at the intersection of 92 Street and Jasper Avenue.
Investigation of the truck’s event data recorder would later show the vehicle was travelling 152 km/h when it ran the red light, ASIRT said.
The officers determined it was unsafe to pursue the vehicle at that time due to the high-risk behaviour.
“As they did so, they saw the tail lights of the Dodge disappear on Jasper Avenue, followed by a sudden power outage and plume of dust in the distance,” the news release read.
The truck hit a power pole at the intersection of Jasper Avenue and Alex Taylor Road, causing so much damage the driver’s side of the cab of the truck was sheared off.
The data event recorder showed the truck was driving about 160 km/h just before the collision.
The man was pronounced dead at the scene and the female passenger had a broken arm. She told officers she told the man to stop, but the driver said he couldn’t because the police were behind them.
It was later determined the truck was stolen from a residence near the Coliseum LRT Station.
The executive director of ASIRT Susan D. Hughson, QC, said in the news release there are “no reasonable grounds, nor reasonable suspicion,” to believe the officers committed any Criminal Code offences.
“What is very clear is that the 27-year-old man was operating the vehicle at an exceptionally high rate of speed and either attempted and failed to make the turn onto Alex Taylor Drive or simply lost control given the high speeds,” the news release read.
“Regardless, even though it was likely the result of an impulsive and not well-considered decision, the man’s operation of the motor vehicle had escalated to being extremely dangerous, and was the sole cause of the single motor vehicle collision.”
ASIRT is called in to investigate whenever injury or death occurs during police matters.