British Columbia

Police watchdog clears Terrace RCMP in fatal ATV crash

Terrace RCMP have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in the death of a woman on an ATV last month. Before the woman crashed, officers had tried to stop several off-roaders who were driving without helmets.

IIO investigation looked into whether RCMP interaction led to crash on forest service road

IIO investigation found police didn't pursue the ATV driver and drove in the other direction which was confirmed by witnesses, and GPS in their vehicles. (CBC)

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has cleared Terrace RCMP of wrongdoing in the death of a woman on an all-terrain vehicle.

On May 23, the IIO said officers saw three riders — two men and one woman — on an ATV on West Kalum Forest Service Road.

The office said the RCMP officers reportedly turned on their emergency lights to stop the ATV, but the ATV went around their vehicle and continued down the road.

Investigators say a young woman died and a man was seriously injured after their ATV crashed into a tree on a logging road about 20 minutes after evading the RCMP traffic stop. 

They weren't wearing helmets.

"It was some distance down that road that the ATV had [a] collision with a tree, and the woman was seriously harmed and eventually died," said Ron MacDonald, chief civilian director of the IIO.

He said witnesses backed up what police officers said happened before the crash.

"They didn't pursue, in fact they went in the opposite direction, which is confirmed by eye witnesses and GPS data from their vehicle," said MacDonald.

MacDonald said officers played no role in the deadly crash.

He called the incident a tragic situation.

With files from Betsy Trumpener