ASIRT clears RCMP, Medicine Hat police in fatal chase
Investigators found civilian driver reached speeds up to 177 km/h
Investigators say RCMP and Medicine Hat police officers involved in a deadly November car chase did not cause the death of the couple in the vehicle.
Last year, Medicine Hat police officers received a call about a domestic abduction.
They located the vehicle in question but the driver took off, prompting police and RCMP to follow out of concerns for the safety of the female passenger.
According to investigators with the Alberta Serious Incident Response Team (ASIRT), the driver of the offending vehicle reached speeds of up to 177 km/h before veering suddenly into the path of an oncoming tractor-trailer.
Both people in the car died.
Cliff Purvis, the head of ASIRT, says the incident was a tragic murder-suicide that highlights domestic abuse.
"Police later searched the location where the suspected abduction occurred and found evidence of a physical struggle which indicated the male may have taken the female against her will," said ASIRT in a release.
He says the evidence shows the driver was intent on harming himself and the woman.
Natasha Carvalho, the executive director of the Medicine Hat Women's Shelter Society, said her heart breaks for the woman and her children.
“My heart breaks for her and her family and her children because I can’t imagine what she must have been thinking at that very moment,” said Carvalho.
“It fuels me to feel like okay, something different has to happen and we need to do something really differently in our community to make sure that we can put an end to domestic violence, put and end to the issue and get into the homes that really need that support.”