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SUV that smashed into rockface near Highway 97 was fleeing a traffic stop: police

The aftermath of a collision on Highway 97 Friday afternoon. Jeff Martin / Global News

BC Highway Patrol alleges a vehicle that smashed into a rockface on Friday afternoon, along Highway 97 near Peachland, was fleeing a traffic stop.

Police said an officer who was doing speed enforcement along the highway near Brent Road tried to stop a speeding SUV, but the vehicle kept going.

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“The officer attempted to close the distance on the SUV which, by now, was a long way ahead. A short time later, the officer noted that the SUV had lost control and crashed into the rock face adjacent to the highway,” Cpl. Mike Halskov of the BC Highway Patrol said in a statement.

Dashcam video of the incident posted on social media shows a vehicle weaving in and out of traffic on the two-lane highway to pass other vehicles.

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In the opposing traffic lane, faced with an oncoming vehicle, the SUV makes an abrupt turn back into its lane, smashing into a rockface before bouncing back across the centre line and blocking traffic.

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After the collision, the police allege, the driver tried to run away but was arrested by an officer.

The driver was injured in the crash and taken to hospital.

“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 for review. On November 29, 2021, the IIO BC concluded that the injuries sustained by the driver did not meet the threshold for further involvement from its office,” Halskov said in a statement.

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The highway patrol said the driver is known to police and could face charges related to possession of stolen property and prohibited driving.

Those with information about the case are asked to reach out to highway patrol investigators at 250-491-5354.

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