Man arrested after stealing, crashing a small car — then a large truck — in Vernon

An RCMP police vehicle Postmedia After arresting a man following a bout of vehicular mayhem, Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP are trying to determine whether the man’s judgment was impaired by alcohol or drugs. The incident, which took place on Tuesday evening, began when a stolen car crashed in the Tronson Road area, just west of Vernon.

“The initial call was regarding a possible impaired driver that had crashed into a large rock with two occupants in the vehicle,” said Vernon RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk. “It was witnessed, and then the witnesses residing in this rural area saw the male driver and female passenger quickly exit the vehicle after the airbags had deployed, after they’d smashed into this rock.” The female passenger, whom investigators are still trying to identify, ran away.

Police allege the male driver stole a small bicycle from a residence before spotting a better vehicle nearby. “A short distance away there was at that time a truck driver who had just stopped and was making a delivery,” said Moskaluk. The delivery driver had left his vehicle running while he discussed with a client where to set down the storage container he was delivering.

Police allege their suspect jumped in the truck and tried to flee, going backwards. “He essentially backs the truck out of that area but is partially blocked, smashes into a parked Jeep Cherokee, races it out of the way and then carries on down this residential road that was a downhill grade, in reverse, then eventually gets turned around.” An officer attempted to stop the truck by spreading out a spike belt, but was unable to stop it.

The officer narrowly avoided being struck by the vehicle in the process, Moskaluk said. Police didn’t have to look very hard for the suspect, however. “They came upon the overturned truck within about a kilometre of where the spike belt was deployed,” said Cpl.

Moskaluk. “The truck was on his side, and the driver was unable to exit the vehicle as the officers arrived.” The suspect was taken to hospital by ambulance and released into police custody later Tuesday night. Investigators made a blood sample demand to the individual in order to determine whether his ability to operate a vehicle was impaired.

“We’re very thankful that no members of the public nor our officers were injured,” said Moskaluk. “He’s gonna be facing numerous charges.” See more events around Vancouver on our weekly calendar[1]. [email protected][2]

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