The Independent Investigation Office of BC said a Port Mann Freeway Patrol officer acted appropriately after a 17-year-old motorist fleeing police custody was struck by a car on Highway 1 last month.
The incident occurred near the King Edward Overpass in Coquitlam on Feb. 5 when the teen, identified as AP in the IIO report, was pulled over heading westbound after being observed speeding and weaving in and out of traffic.
After the motorist was informed by the officer that his vehicle would be impounded and he would be receiving three tickets, a female passenger told investigators that AP became upset.
“The passenger said she could see AP looking out the window at oncoming traffic and thought he was thinking about getting out of the vehicle,” the report stated. “She tried to hold his arm to stop him and talk to him. She added that at one point she thought about honking the horn to get the attention of the officer hoping the officer may be able to keep AP safe.”
Instead, the driver managed to exit his vehicle and jumped over a concrete highway barrier before being struck by an eastbound motorist. The incident left AP in critical condition and shutdown Highway 1, snarling traffic in both directions while the Integrated Collision Analysis Reconstruction Service investigated.
IIO investigations are launched anytime a person is injured or killed in police custody. After reviewing dash cam footage and taking statements from witnesses, IIO determined that the officer involved in the incident acted appropriately.
“Officer 1 acted at some risk to himself when he took steps to stop traffic and protect AP as he lay injured on the roadway,” said the report. “He met all his duties as a police officer fully and completely.”
They added that the audio provided to investigators “demonstrates that Officer 1 was professional in his dealing with AP during the initial stop and caring in his attempts to comfort AP while awaiting further assistance.”