No charges have been approved in a high-speed, multi-vehicle crash caught on video in 2019, according to the BC Prosecution Service.
On Aug. 24, 2019 around midnight, shortly after fleeing from police, the driver of a white pick-up truck ran a red light and collided with three other vehicles in the intersection of Douglas and Bay streets. The force of the crash flipped one vehicle and launched another metres forward. Video footage, captured by a local business, also shows the driver narrowly missing a cyclist crossing the street.
The driver can also be seen running from the scene. One suspect was arrested and three people taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for BC Prosecution Service, confirmed that no charges were approved in the file.
Crown counsel was unable to conclude that a charge assessment standard was met in the incident, he said. Evidence is measured against a two-part test – if there is a substantial likelihood of conviction and if so, whether public interest requires a prosecution.
Because of the police involvement prior to the crash, the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO), a civilian-led police oversight agency, investigated police actions in the crash.
Shortly before the crash, Victoria police had attempted to pull over the driver in the area of Gorge Road and Rock Bay Avenue. The driver didn’t stop and fled at a high rate of speed before the crash occurred. The police officer followed the driver for two or three blocks before pulling over to radio that he was not pursuing.
A witness who saw the truck being driven away told IIO investigators that it looked as if the pick-up tuck “would kill somebody, the way it was being driven” but the police vehicle following it was being driven much slower.
In February the IIO released its report, concluding the officer who had attempted to stop the driver did not commit any wrongdoing.
“Officer 1 did no more than attempt a … traffic stop and made the appropriate decision not to pursue when the pick-up fled at high speed,” writes Ronald MacDonald, IIO chief civilian director. “Officer 1 turned off his emergency lights, slowed and turned off onto a side street. What happened after that was the direct result of the actions of the pick-up’s driver.”