Nfld. & Labrador

RNC tried to stop driver involved in crash that killed young mother in St. John's

19-year-old mother of one-month old baby killed in crash, three other people taken to hospital - including the driver, who sustained serious injuries.

Police say driver didn't stop for officer, then collided with an SUV

Police say a 19-year-old female passenger in this Honda Accord died at the scene of the crash Friday, with the 17-year-old female driver suffering serious injuries. Two male youths in the car were not seriously injured. (CBC/Marilyn Boone)

Police say an officer tried to stop a 17-year-old female driver Friday night, but she ignored the attempt — then collided with an SUV​ in west end St. John's — leaving her 19-year-old passenger dead.

Following the fatal incident, Royal Newfoundland Constabulary Chief Joe Boland says he requested the province call the Nova Scotia Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT) to do an independent investigation, as is standard in a serious incident involving police. 

"As with any investigation where there's serious injury or death, this will be a thorough and complete investigation, and once that investigation is completed by our accident investigators then they will determine what charges are appropriate," said Boland.

Because SIRT is now handling the investigation, Boland deflected many questions, including whether or not the vehicle was stolen, to the investigative team. 

Teen killed had newborn daughter

Police said the accident occurred just before 10:30 p.m., when a patrol officer travelling south on Hamlyn Road tried to stop the driver of a Honda Accord going in the same direction. 

But the RNC said the driver failed to stop, and collided with a westbound SUV on Canada Drive. 

"The police officer tried to initiate a traffic safety stop, and within seconds after initiating that safety stop, there was a collision," said Boland.

Late Saturday afternoon, police said there were four people in the Honda Accord: the 17-year-old female driver, two male youths, and the 19-year-old woman from St. John's who was killed.

CBC News has learned she had a one-month-old baby girl. 

Emergency crews responded late Friday to a two-vehicle crash scene on Canada Drive and Hamlyn Road. (Arthur Craig Green)

The 17-year-old driver suffered serious injuries and remained in hospital Saturday, while the two male youths received what police described as non-life threatening injuries. 

The driver and lone occupant of the SUV sustained minor injuries. 

At this point, the RNC does not believe alcohol or drugs were a factor in the crash.

Unclear why officer attempted traffic stop

Boland said the SIRT investigators have been called as they are in all cases where an RNC officer is present at an incident resulting in serious injury or death. 

Investigators were expected to be in St. John's on Saturday. 

Boland said he couldn't share why the officer, who is still on active duty, initiated the traffic stop. However, he stressed that he did not believe the officer committed any wrongdoing. 

Weather conditions at the time will also be assessed in the investigation, he said. 

Witnesses told CBC one vehicle crashed into a fence on the west side of Hamlyn Road, while the other car landed in a driveway on Canada Drive.

The RNC is asking anyone who may have seen the collision, or any residents in the area who may have home security cameras that captured the moments leading up to the crash to contacted accident investigators at 729-8000. 

Because the driver of the Honda Accord is a minor, police are not releasing her identity.

No timeline was provided for the completion of the SIRT's investigation.

No charges have been laid.

Snow was falling in St. John's Friday night, when two vehicles collided at a busy Cowan Heights intersection. (Marilyn Boone/CBC)

With files from Ryan Cooke, Marilyn Boone