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The driver who injured police officers in Burnaby is still at large

A call about a possible drunk driver in Burnaby ended disastrously for two officers with the police dog service Monday. Burnaby RCMP got the call just before 11:30 a.m.
hit and run vehicle two
This police vehicle that transports police dogs was damaged in a hit-and-run incident on Monday. SHANE MACKICHAN PHOTO

A call about a possible drunk driver in Burnaby ended disastrously for two officers with the police dog service Monday.

Burnaby RCMP got the call just before 11:30 a.m. about a white, later model Toyota Camry with dark tinted windows, according to Cpl. Mike Kalanj.

An officer located the vehicle near Byrne Road and Marine Drive, but couldn’t see if anyone was inside because the windows were darkly tinted, Kalanj said.

When the officer got out to take a look, however, the vehicle sped off on Byrne Road into oncoming traffic, according to Kalanj.

He said the officer didn’t give chase because the car took off on the wrong side of the road.

About two kilometres away, at 4300 North Fraser Way, Roberto Farinha was looking out his office window at a group of officers with the dog unit standing outside one of their vehicles parked facing west on the north side of North Fraser Way.

A westbound semi, seeing the officers on the road, slowed down, Farinha said, but another westbound vehicle blew past it on the right and plowed through them.

“They just accelerated through and had no regard for them. No stopping, no nothing,” Farinha said. “Everybody was in shock. Nobody could believe what happened.”

An officer who had been standing closer to the front of the vehicle was able to jump out of the way, according to Farinha, but the others were launched into the air, one as high as 15 feet.

“We didn’t think he was going to live,” Farinha said.

Kalanj confirmed two male officers, one an RCMP member and the other an Abbotsford police officer, were injured.

“They’re doing a lot better than initially what was being reported out,” he said.

A social media post from Abbotsford police Chief Mike Serr said the Abbotsford officer was sore but didn't break any bones. He was released Monday evening.

The RCMP officer remains in hospital.

 

Kalanj said it appears the driver of the suspect vehicle drove between the semi and the police dog vehicle to escape from police.

The white Camry had been reported stolen, Kalanj said.

A tip from the public helped police locate the abandoned car about an hour after the crash in an industrial area by Keith Street and Ivy Avenue.

RCMP are now urging members of the public who were in the area between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to look over their dashcam footage for any images of the suspect vehicle that might help identify the driver.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Burnaby RCMP at 604-646-9511.

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