Edmonton, Alberta – On July 3, 2017, the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT) was directed to investigate the circumstances surrounding a fatal collision involving a stolen vehicle that was fleeing police. On the same day at approximately 8 p.m., Edmonton Police Service (EPS) officers encountered a truck believed to be stolen and began following the vehicle. At some point, the driver of the stolen vehicle became aware of the police presence and attempted to flee. Police initiated a criminal flight response, often called a pursuit, that was ultimately ordered terminated by a supervisor.
The stolen vehicle proceeded eastbound on Whitemud Drive from 215 Street. As it came upon the intersection at Whitemud Drive and Lewis Estates Boulevard, it crossed over and continued driving eastbound on Whitemud Drive, now in the westbound lanes, against the proper flow of traffic. As this was occurring, a vehicle that had been travelling southbound on Anthony Henday Drive took the off-ramp to proceed into the westbound lanes on Whitemud Drive. The stolen vehicle exited off Whitemud Drive, drove onto the off-ramp continuing to travel in the wrong direction, and struck the vehicle head-on.
The occupants of the stolen vehicle fled on foot and were subsequently apprehended. None of the occupants of the stolen vehicle suffered serious injury in the collision. The same cannot be said for the vehicle that was struck. This vehicle had two occupants. Tragically, the 64-year-old male driver was determined to be deceased at the scene and the passenger in the vehicle, a 62-year-old woman who was taken to hospital, succumbed to her injuries and passed away on July 4, 2017.
ASIRT’s mandate is to investigate incidents where serious injury or death occurs that may have been the result of contact with police. In the case of a criminal flight response when a motor vehicle collision occurs that results in the death or serious injury of a person, ASIRT’s investigation will focus on the police conduct to determine whether they were acting in the lawful execution of their duties and were lawfully placed or whether conduct occurred that might constitute a criminal offence. The investigation will focus on the officers’ conduct leading up to the collision.
EPS will maintain conduct of the criminal investigation into the conduct of the driver and occupants of the stolen vehicle.
With ASIRT’s investigation underway, there will be no further comment until the investigation is complete.
Police report from Edmonton Police:
Alberta Serious Incident Response Team