Police watchdog says RCMP not responsible for death of motorcyclist in North Okanagan | Vernon News | iNFOnews

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Police watchdog says RCMP not responsible for death of motorcyclist in North Okanagan

Emergency crews onsite following the crash near Grindrod, north of Vernon, Sunday, Aug. 30, 2020.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED
September 22, 2020 - 9:45 AM

The B.C. police watchdog has concluded that the RCMP is not responsible for the death of a motorcyclist who collided with another vehicle near Enderby after being clocked driving erratically and without a helmet, Aug. 30.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. says it has reviewed the evidence, including dashcam footage from the vehicle the motorcyclist collided with, and eyewitness statements, and determined that police actions were not responsible for the death of the man.

According to an Independent Investigations Office media release, Sept 22, several reports were made to the RCMP in the morning of Aug. 30 about a helmetless motorcyclist driving erratically and without license plates on Highway 97A. The motorcyclist was first seen in Lake Country where the RCMP attempted to stop him. The rider did not stop, jumped a red light, and continued north toward Vernon.

The release states Vernon RCMP did not attempt to stop the motorcyclist.

The rider continued to head north on Highway 97A and shortly afterwards crashed in the driveway of an Enderby home. The residents attempted to prevent the rider from driving away but were unsuccessful and called 911.

Police spotted the driver, but again did not attempt to stop him, the Independent Investigations Office says. About nine kilometres further north on Highway 97A near Grindrod the motorcycle crossed the centre line while turning and collided head-on with another vehicle that was heading south. The motorcyclist was taken to hospital but died in the early hours of Sept. 1.

The Independent Investigations Office says it reviewed dashcam footage from the vehicle the motorcycle collided with, along with CCTV footage from a nearby business and spoke to seven civilian witnesses, and concluded that the police's actions were not responsible for the death of the man. The Independent Investigations Office says police followed RCMP policy and did not pursue the motorcycle, and arrived at the scene minutes after the crash.

The Independent Investigations Office is an independent civilian oversight agency that investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.


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