November 08, 2013 - 4:16 PM
DID OFFICER IGNORE ORDER TO ABANDON PURSUIT?
SALMON ARM - A Salmon Arm police officer may face charges after it appears he failed to call off a police chase that resulted in the death of a young Cherryville woman in June, according to an independent investigation.
The Independent Investigations Office investigated the June 21 crash that killed Courtenay Eggen, 21, and in a news release issued today said it sent a report to Crown counsel. According to a release from chief civilian director Richard Rosenthal, it appears the officer involved may have ignored an order to abandon police pursuit of Eggen's vehicle that night.
At 11:54 p.m. June 21, the officer was monitoring a four-way stop sign at Auto Road and Five Corners when a vehicle went through a stop sign on Auto Road, the release says. The officer began to follow the car, which turned into a brief pursuit, which was ordered terminated. A few minutes later, the officer reported being off-road near Auto Road and 50th Ave. where Eggen’s car crashed into a parked dump truck in Salmon Arm and she died at the scene. The cruiser was damaged and found on the opposite side of the road.
A report to Crown counsel occurs when the chief civilian director believes that “an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment.”
The director does not make a recommendation on if or what charges Crown counsel should consider, the release says. In approving charges, the Criminal Justice Branch must be satisfied not only that an offence may have been committed, but that the offence can be proven in court beyond a reasonable doubt.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at firstname.lastname@example.org, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
—Corrections were made to this story Nov. 19, including the headline. An earlier version stated that charges were recommended against the officer. This was an assumption and not a fact. A report to crown counsel is not a recommendation of charges, it occurs when the chief civilian director believes that "an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment." We apologize for the error.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013