A fleeing Richmond Hospital patient stole a police cruiser before smashing into three vehicles in a bid to get away.
Just after noon on Monday, Richmond RCMP were called to the hospital after a report that a patient, who was not permitted to leave the premises, had fled on foot.
A Mountie found the man in question, but was unable to take him into custody before the suspect got into the police cruiser and drove off.
The man driving the stolen police car then collided with a civilian vehicle and an unmarked police car near Gilbert and Donald roads, just south of Blundell Road, before colliding with a second civilian vehicle in the 8200-block of Gilbert, where he was arrested.
A photo sent to the Richmond News by local resident Bob Wiliamson appears to show a marked police cruiser had ultimately halted the progress of the stolen cruiser. However, the News has asked BC RCMP for clarification.
The driver of the second civilian vehicle, a woman, was taken to hospital with what are believed to be serious, but non-life threatening injuries.
One RCMP officer was injured and is being treated for what are understood to be minor injuries.
Police are continuing to investigate the theft of the cruiser and the collisions.
Because police vehicles were involved in the incident, the RCMP has called in the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO BC) to determine whether police actions or inactions are linked to the woman’s injuries.
A spokesperson for the BC Ambulance Service said they received a call at 12:37 p.m. for paramedics to attend “code 3” lights and sirens to a motor vehicle incident in the 8200 block of Gilbert Road.
“Paramedics responded to the police scene and transported one patient in serious condition to hospital,” added the spokesperson.
This story has been updated with new information since it was originally published on Oct. 7, 2019.