Vancouver police officer charged with dangerous driving in bike crash

Vancouver Courier

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A Vancouver police constable has been charged with dangerous driving causing bodily harm in connection with a collision last May that injured a female cyclist.

The B.C. Prosecution Service announced Tuesday that it approved a charge against Luke Bokenfohr, who was on duty May 18, 2018 and operating a police vehicle.

Vancouver Police. Photo Dan Toulgoet

“The charge was approved by an experienced Crown Counsel with no prior or current connection with the officer,” said a news release from the prosecution service.

Bokenfohr’s first appearance in Vancouver Provincial Court is scheduled for July 8.

The collision occurred at approximately 10 p.m. at the intersection of West 46th Avenue and Oak Street. Paramedics transported the cyclist to hospital with what was originally believed to be minor injuries.

The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) received notification May 1, 2019 from the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner of B.C. that “further information received indicated the injury constituted serious harm,” according to a news release issued May 9 by the IIO.

The IIO is an independent agency tasked with investigating all police-involved incidents in B.C. where a person suffers serious harm or is killed.

Neither the IIO nor the prosecution service would say whether the police vehicle was marked or emergency lights activated. No detail was provided on the cyclist’s injuries, or age given.

The IIO forwarded its file to Crown to consider charges.

The charge approved against Bokenfohr comes after Crown approved a charge in January of dangerous driving causing bodily harm against VPD Const. Andrew Peters.

That charge is in connection with an unmarked police vehicle colliding Jan. 6 with a pedestrian in the area of Knight Street and 20th Avenue. The collision occurred at about 9:30 p.m.

The pedestrian was taken to hospital with serious but not life-threatening injuries. The IIO sent the file to Crown in November 2018 to consider charges.

Meanwhile, an amendment to the Police Act that aims to eliminate “unnecessary reviews” of IIO cases by Crown passed third reading May 15 and is awaiting Royal Assent.

The change will raise the IIO’s referral standard to Crown, “bringing it in line with the standard used by police in B.C. and clarifying that only cases with a reasonable likelihood of charge approval will be referred to Crown,” according to an April 29 news release from the Ministry of Attorney General.

With files from Jessica Kerr

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