Man escaping hospital steals police cruiser, crashes into multiple other vehicles
1 person was taken to hospital with serious injuries
B.C.'s independent police watchdog is investigating after an escaping hospital patient stole a police cruiser and crashed it, seriously injuring a bystander.
Richmond RCMP were called to a local hospital just after noon on Monday for a report that a patient, who was not allowed to leave, had fled on foot. Officers found the man but, before they could detain him, he hopped into a police cruiser and sped away.
The man then crashed into a police vehicle and two civilian vehicles near Gilbert Road and Donald Road.
The driver of the second vehicle he hit, a woman, was taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
B.C. Emergency Health Services said it received a call from police to send paramedics to the collision just after 12:30 p.m. PT.
Images from the scene show the two RCMP vehicles, both with front-end damage, and a silver van and white sedan involved in a crash.
The area of Gilbert Road and Donald Road was cordoned off and closed to traffic for hours as officers investigated.
Richmond RCMP said the incident is now in the hands of the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIOBC), which is investigating whether police actions or inactions are linked to the woman's injuries.
The IIO is a civilian police oversight agency tasked with looking into incidents of death or serious harm that may have been the result of the actions of a police officer, whether on or off duty.
The Richmond RCMP General Investigation Section and the Integrated Collision Analyst and Reconstruction Service (ICARS) are also investigating the theft and collisions.