Independent Investigations Office
For Immediate Release
Surrey, B.C. – The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC has concluded an investigation into a death in Prince George.
On December 7, 2021 at approximately 11:30 p.m., officers conducting an ongoing investigation observed a red Dodge Caravan leaving a residence. When police attempted to conduct a traffic stop, the male driver of the Caravan fled onto Highway 97 southbound. The officer did not pursue but tried to follow the tire tracks in the fresh snow for about 30 minutes before the trail was lost.
On December 8 at about 12:30 a.m., police received a call from a civilian who reported speaking to a man in a red Caravan that was pulled off on the side of the road at McKelvie Road near Highway 97 in Hixon. The civilian said the man told him he was hiding from police before departing. The civilian then drove around to look for the vehicle and spotted it on Sleepy Hollow Road but later lost sight of it. The vehicle matched the description of the van police had attempted to stop earlier in the evening.
Later that morning between 1:55 a.m. and 2:35 a.m., the RCMP received several calls about a male pedestrian in the southbound lane of Highway 97, south of Widdis Road. Police attended and around 2:45 a.m., reported locating a deceased male. A red Caravan was located a short distance from where the male was found.
The Chief Civilian Director has reviewed the evidence, including information from the BC Coroners Service and police records, and determined that the actions of police did not contribute to the death. After the unsuccessful traffic stop before midnight on December 7, 2021, police had no contact with the driver of the Caravan before his death. The IIO investigation is now concluded.
The BC Coroners Service investigation into the manner and cause of death continues.
The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.