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Merritt Mountie may face charges in aftermath of 2021 crash

Sign for the Independent Investigations Office of B.C.
The IIO's mandate is to investigate any incident where police actions or inactions may have caused harm or death to a civilian person. Independent Investigations Office

A Merritt area Mountie may have committed an offence connected to the operation of his police vehicle,  B.C.’s police watchdog said in a report looking into an October 2021 crash.

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“Shortly after noon on Oct. 27, 2021, a member of the BC Highway Patrol was attempting to conduct a traffic stop of a white Honda southbound beginning near the intersection of Highway 5A and Highway 5 before discontinuing,” the IIO said in a press release.

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The Honda subsequently collided with another vehicle “some distance away”  the IIO said in a press release, and the male passenger of the Honda sustained serious injuries. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

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The driver, also a male, sustained minor injuries.

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Chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald, determined that while there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the officer’s actions were connected to the crash, “reasonable grounds do exist to believe that the officer may have committed an offence in relation to the operation of their police vehicle.”

As a result, and pursuant to Section 38.11 of the Police Act, the IIO has forwarded a report to the BC Prosecution Service for consideration of charges.

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In order to approve any charges, the BC Prosecution Service must be satisfied that there is a substantial likelihood of conviction based on the evidence gathered and that prosecution is required in the public interest.

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While the matter is with the Crown, the IIO will not be making any additional comment about the facts of this case.

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