'No evidence' of police offence in fatal Surrey collision
Police have been cleared of any fault in connection with the death of a Surrey senior who succumbed to injuries sustained in a crash with a police vehicle Dec. 27.
A report released Thursday by officials with the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. concludes actions of the 72-year-old – identified by the B.C. Coroners Service in January as Donald Allan Murray –caused the collision.
Murray died in Peace Arch Hospital Dec. 31 of injuries suffered in the afternoon crash, in which an unmarked police van collided with his sedan at the intersection of Highway 10 and 184 Street.
According to the report – which doesn't name any of those involved – the RCMP 'E' Division officer was eastbound on Highway 10 on a green light when the westbound senior, distracted by an oncoming ambulance, made a sudden left turn onto 184 Street.
"The male driver turned left in front of the oncoming unmarked police van, causing the collision," report author IIO chief civilian director Richard Rosenthal states.
At the scene, the injured senior told a paramedic he had "made a bad decision," the report notes; a witness described him as looking "confused and startled" prior to the collision.
The police officer at the wheel of the van told IIO investigators he didn't hear or see the ambulance, and that he saw the sedan "suddenly appear from his left."
Crash data from the police van indicated the officer's vehicle was travelling at 60 km/h when the vehicles hit, and had slowed in the seconds before from 72 km/h.
"Based on the evidence, I do not consider that the involved officer may have committed an offence," Rosenthal concludes.