SURREY, B.C. — British Columbia’s Independent Investigations Office is stepping in to probe a crash that killed a Mountie after revelations that police were trying to stop a suspect vehicle minutes before the collision.
The IIO’s probe means there are now three investigations involving the crash that killed 32-year-old Const. Sarah Beckett in a Victoria-area intersection on April 5.
“As the investigation progressed, information pertaining to an attempt by police to stop the suspect vehicle prior to the collision was provided to the IIO B.C. for assessment,” said an RCMP statement issued Friday.
The police watchdog was notified when the crash occurred, but did not step in until the new information was revealed.
“The IIO is investigating the circumstances leading up to the collision to determine if the actions or inactions of an officer may have contributed to the collision,” said another statement also released Friday by the investigations office.
The agency investigates any police-involved incident where there is a death or serious injury.
The driver of the pickup truck that hit the cruiser was taken into custody, but released the next day without being charged.
A criminal investigation has been launched by Vancouver Island RCMP and the probe into the crash is being conducted by the Saanich Police Department.
Hundreds of people lined the procession route before Beckett’s funeral last Tuesday as the hearse carrying her remains made its way to the service.
A riderless horse signifying a fallen officer was part of the procession as RCMP officers dressed in traditional red serge uniforms marched in a sombre tribute to their fellow officer.
Thousands more later attended Beckett’s funeral at a Colwood, B.C., ice arena near Victoria, where she was remembered as a deeply-committed officer with a quirky sense of humour, and a loving wife and mother.
The 11-year member of the force left behind a husband and two sons aged five and two.
The Canadian Press
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