British Columbia

Salt Spring Island RCMP officer injured after impaired driver check turns violent

A routine impaired driving check on Salt Spring Island turned violent early Saturday morning, ending with an injured officer, two smashed RCMP service vehicles, and the suspect apprehended under the Mental Health Act.

Driver apprehended after he rammed police vehicles and attempted to set SUV on fire

A Saltspring Island RCMP truck and another cruiser were left with crushed front ends after a violent altercation after midnight Friday. (Saltspring RCMP)

A routine impaired driving check on Salt Spring Island turned violent early Saturday morning, ending with an injured officer, two smashed RCMP service vehicles, and the suspect apprehended under the Mental Health Act.

Not long after midnight on Aug. 29, police at a check stop flagged down a man driving a Chevrolet Blazer on Upper Ganges Road. The driver sped past the the stop to avoid it, nearly hitting an officer on the road.

Two officers then tried to block the driver with their cars, but the suspect drove into them, crushing the front of both vehicles, according to police. 

The driver then managed to manoeuvre the truck, which police later discovered was stolen, and sped off north on Upper Ganges Road.

Police followed and found the Blazer not far away, upside-down in a ditch, a press release said.

The driver had armed himself with an axe and was attempting to set the interior of his SUV on fire with lighter fluid.

A firefighter who recognized the man managed to persuade him to surrender his axe. It took hours, but eventually the man was forced from the SUV. 

Police said he was apprehended under the Mental Health Act and transported to hospital. They said they believe his injuries are serious.

One RCMP officer involved reported head, neck and back injuries.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. will be notified of this case.

One of the Salts Spring RCMP cruisers destroyed after a midnight impaired check went wrong. (Salt Spring RCMP)

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