The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC has opened an investigation regarding an unspecified incident that took place in Saanich at the end of May.
The IIO is a police-oversight agency led by civilians who investigate incidents involving death or serious harm that may have been caused by an on- or off-duty police officer’s actions. Under the Police Act, officers are required to report incidents that may fall into these categories to the IIO.
On June 8, the IIO told Black Press Media that a file was opened on May 28 for an incident in Saanich but couldn’t confirm the details of the investigation – including where the incident took place.
However, a collision labelled by police as “serious” took place in Saanich that day involving a man who fled a traffic stop near the intersection of McKenzie Avenue and Borden Street.
Just before 5 p.m. on May 28, an officer conducting road safety enforcement on McKenzie Avenue saw the driver of a black Mercedes SUV commit a traffic violation near Borden Street, said Const. Markus Anastasiades, public information officer for the Saanich Police Department, in a written statement at the time. The driver was asked to pull over but instead, he fled west down McKenzie Avenue.
Shortly after, another officer came across a two-vehicle collision on McKenzie Avenue at Rainbow Street. Police confirmed a black Mercedes SUV involved was the same one that had just sped away from the traffic stop a few blocks east.
A 38-year-old man from Langford was arrested and charged with four criminal offences and four Motor Vehicle Act violations – including dangerous driving, refusing a breathalyzer test, running from police and driving while prohibited.
Police said the other driver involved in the crash sustained serious but not life-threatening injuries.