A man apparently fleeing the alleged scene of a break and enter also refused to stop for police and got into a traffic altercation while riding a motorcycle on Thursday, May 16, 2019. He later lost his life due to injuries he obtained in the accident. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard file)

RCMP cleared of misconduct in fatal motorcycle crash in Hope

Police watchdog says suspect was fleeing crime scene on stolen motorcycle when he crashed

The RCMP have been cleared of any misconduct relating to a fatal motorcycle crash in Hope in May 2019, by the independant organization that investigates police-related deaths.

The Independent Investigations Office of BC released a report on Tuesday outlining the details of a crash that followed a break-in to a business in Hope on May 16.

“I do not consider that an officer may have committed an offence under any enactment and therefore the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges,” wrote Chief Civilian Director Ronald J. MacDonald.

The incident began at 4:44 a.m. that day when the Hope RCMP received a report of a break and enter at a business on Old Hope-Princeton Way. The suspect fled westbound on a stolen motorcycle.

An unmarked police vehicle was traveling eastbound on the same road when the suspect drove by in the opposite direction. When the officer turned around and turned his emergency lights on, the suspect didn’t stop.

The officer pulled over and updated dispatch, and another officer on his way to work arrived on the scene. The original officer also retrieved a helmet he believed the suspect discarded.

READ MORE: UPDATE: IIO attends early morning motorcycle accident in Hope

About two minutes later, a civilian drove up and informed the two officers a motorcycle had crashed down the road, at the intersection with the highway.

The driver of the motorcycle was found by officers immediately, and was suffering from serious head injuries. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and died from his injuries.

Video recordings from nearby businesses confirm the officers’ reports of the incident, as well as police dispatch records and police radio transmission recordings, the report states.

There were no other witnesses to the motorcycle crash found, and no CCTV coverage of the crash location.

MacDonald reasoned that the officer followed the procedures expected for the situation.

“There was no pursuit, and SO (subject officer) was not close to, or even in sight of, the location where the AP (affected person) crashed. SO cannot be blamed for AP’s own personal decisions, or for the harm to which those decisions led him.”

The IIOBC looked at statements from the civilian and officer witnesses, police computer aided dispatch and police records information, audio recordings of the 911 line and police radio dispatch transmissions, mobile data terminal download from the officer’s vehicles, CCTV recordings from nearby locations, scene photographs and forensic examination, vehicle mechanical inspections, collision reconstruction analysis report, and medical evidence.

READ MORE: Man dead after motorcycle crash in Hope, police watchdog says


 

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