RNC tried to stop driver involved in crash that killed young mother in St. John's
Police say driver didn't stop for officer, then collided with an SUV
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.
Chief Joe Boland can’t talk specifics. Says SIRT is arriving to investigate. No charges have been laid yet. Name of 17 year old driver can’t be released as she is a minor. <a href="https://t.co/gGIpa1jVKb">pic.twitter.com/gGIpa1jVKb</a>—@andrewsampson_
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.
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.
Nasty collision at the corner of Hamlyn and Canada Drive. Lots of police on scene. Whole area is shut down. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbcnl?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#cbcnl</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/nltraffic?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#nltraffic</a> <a href="https://t.co/edEVALYHTD">pic.twitter.com/edEVALYHTD</a>—@ryancookeNL
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.
With files from Ryan Cooke, Marilyn Boone