An RCMP officer has been officially cleared of any wrongdoings by B.C.’s watchdog in a 2022 crash, near Hell’s Gate, that took the life of one man.
The incident involved a vehicle that had “crashed into concrete barriers at the side of the highway, close to the Hell’s Gate tramway,” killing the sole driver, according to a report released July 10 by the Independent Investigations Office.
On July 14, 2022, 911 dispatchers received a call from the driver’s fiance, worried about his mental health and risk of possible suicide.
Mounties found the vehicle — a Nissan — driving northbound on Highway 1 at around 10 a.m. The officer made a brief attempt to do a traffic stop. When this failed, the officer said he reduced his speed, which was confirmed by the equipment in his vehicle.
A short time later, the vehicle went off the road, falling down the cliff side. The man died at the site of the crash.
“When AP (affected person) failed to stop, and in fact accelerated away, SO (subject officer) again responded quite properly in desisting,” said IIO chief civilian director Ronald J. MacDonald in the public report. “It is clear from the evidence that he followed standard police policy by choosing not to pursue.”
MacDonald also notes that it would have been unsafe for the police officer to stop as “it would have partially blocked the travelled portion of” the highway.
The IIO investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.