Mountie involved in fatal crash was supervisor at time of airport Taser death
An RCMP officer who was arrested following a fatal collision Saturday in Delta, B.C., was the supervisor on site when a Polish immigrant died at Vancouver airport shortly after being stunned by a Taser last October, CBC News has learned.
Police have not released the name of the officer, but CBC News has learned he is Benjamin Montgomery Robinson, who joined the RCMP in the late 1990s and was promoted to corporal in March 2004.
Following Saturday's crash, Robinson, 38, was reportedly suspended with pay from the RCMP's Vancouver 2010 integrated security unit.
He was arrested Saturday night shortly after a Jeep collided with a motorcycle, killing 21-year-old rider Orion Hutchinson.
Hutchinson was westbound on his motorcycle on Sixth Avenue in Tsawwassen, a community in Delta, when the collision occurred with the eastbound Jeep at the intersection of Gilchrist Drive, Delta police said.
Hutchinson was thrown from his motorcycle and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Witnesses said the driver of the Jeep, who had two children in his vehicle, left the scene of the collision.
Delta police arrested Robinson a short while later. He was taken to the Delta police station, where he was given a breathalyzer test.
Robinson, who was off duty at the time the collision occurred, was released on a promise to appear in provincial court on Jan. 15. He has not been charged, but Delta police said they are recommending the officer be charged with impaired driving causing death.
Robinson's parents own property a few blocks from the crash site.
The RCMP confirmed Tuesday that the officer involved in the fatal crash was one of four Mounties deployed to deal with Robert Dziekanski at Vancouver International Airport on Oct. 14, 2007.
Dziekanski, who had wandered around the Vancouver airport for several hours, apparently due to language barrier, was jolted by a Taser and died minutes later.
RCMP spokesman Sgt. Tim Shields said Wednesday Robinson was deemed "fit for duty" after the Taser incident.
"When a police officer is involved in a critical incident where someone dies, it can have very long-lasting effects on that person, but it affects everyone differently," Shields said in an interview.
"The final review is made by the RCMP's health services officer, and this particular RCMP member was deemed to be fit for duty after going through this process."
Dr. Mike Webster, a police psychologist, said while Robinson may have been fit for duty, he also would have been under a massive amount of stress.
"Not only is he worrying about the Dziekanski incident. Now he is worried about the outcome of this incident. It is the last thing he needed to have happen," Webster said Wednesday.