UPDATED: Saanich Police probe Sunday's crash involving an RCMP cruiser

A North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP cruiser was heavily damaged during Sunday
A North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP cruiser was heavily damaged during Sunday's night's crash with a Hyundai Accent driven by a local woman at the Miller Road-Trans-Canada Highway intersection. Both drivers were injured.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Saanich Police are now investigating Sunday's car crash between a local RCMP cruiser and a local woman's sedan.

The independent probe could take months, according to Sgt. Dean Jantzen of the Saanich department.

A crash analyst, a forensic investigator and two major-crime officers were at the collision site Tuesday south of Duncan, Jantzen said.

Those experts were to meet with the North Cowichan/Duncan officer involved, who's served 2 1/2 years on the local force, he noted.

SPD also investigated the tragic circumstances of a June 2010 wreck involving a local RCMP car that hit and killed local woman Patti Daniels near Somenos Marsh.

Sunday's 7 p.m. incident  caused non-life threatening injuries to the male Mountie, and the 23-year-old woman who was driving a Hyundai Accent.

She was still in hospital with head injuries Tuesday, Jantzen said.

The officer's concerns about more serious injuries have now been ruled out by doctors, he added.

The collision happened when the female made a left turn from the northbound lane of the Trans-Canada Highway at Miller Road — across from the Old Farm Market — and her car collided with the marked cop cruiser headed to a domestic dispute, police have stated.

Names of both people involved haven't been released.

However, the woman is believed to be the girlfriend of a pal of Victoria's Mike Stewart, who said he saw the cruiser speeding through Duncan just before the wreck happened.

Stewart, a steam engineer, told the New Leader Pictorial he was gassing his car at the Chevron at the TCH and Trunk Road when he heard and saw the fast-moving cruiser without lights or sirens being used.

"I was leaning against the back of my car, and heard the engine noise, and thought 'What kind of idiot is going through here at that speed?'" he said of the 50 kilometre-per-hour zone.

Stewart noted the cruiser shot through the intersection on a green light.

He also said the cruiser's speed might be understandable in an emergency if lights and sirens had been used.

Stewart said he headed south on the highway then reached the crash scene where the Hyundai was in the ditch with its passenger side bashed in.

The police cruiser was damaged and facing north in the southbound lane, he said.

"I was pissed off because I knew it was the same guy (RCMP officer) that was speeding," he said, noting two other police vehicles, using sirens and lights, passed his car near the silver bridge.

The wreck reduced the TCH to single-lane traffic for some four hours of investigation work Sunday.


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