RCMP charge Lloydminster man in Sask. crash that killed 3 from Edmonton
Brandon Stucka, 26, charged with 10 offences, including criminal negligence causing death
RCMP have charged a man in connection with a fatal collision in Saskatchewan that killed three women from Edmonton last week.
Brandon Stucka, 26, of Lloydminster has been charged with criminal negligence causing death and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.
Staff Sgt. Rob Embree spoke to media Wednesday in Regina about the investigation into the fatal collision that occurred on Highway 16 near Lloydminster on Sept. 22.
A stolen flat-deck truck hit a minivan during the incident. Two women inside the van, 37 and 35, were pronounced dead at the scene, while a 53-year-old woman later died from her injuries.
Stucka faces a total of 10 charges, which also include dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death, failure to stop at the scene of an accident and flight from police.
Asked why Stucka is facing only one count of criminal negligence causing death when three people were killed in the crash, Embree said the decision about charges was made after consulting with Crown prosecutors.
Stucka is in custody at the Saskatoon Correctional Centre and is scheduled to appear in North Battleford provincial court Thursday via video.
He appeared in court Monday on charges related to other incidents this past summer, including allegations of firing a gun at another man, meth possession and stealing a one-ton super-duty truck.
Criticism of RCMP decisions
The RCMP have received criticism for their handling of the incident. Before the collision occurred, two RCMP officers spotted a stolen truck and initiated a chase. However, their supervisor assessed the situation and called off the pursuit.
About 35 minutes after that decision, the fatal collision took place, according to Embree.
Assistant Commissioner Curtis Zablocki defended the decision to call off the pursuit on Tuesday. He said since 2009, RCMP forces across Canada have been instructed not to engage in high-speed chases with stolen vehicles.
"A stolen vehicle is not worth putting someone's life in jeopardy or at risk," he said.
Embree also defended the decision.
"I think it's very important to realize that every time that we're involved in a pursuit, we put our members and the general public at risk. We know that. We have to take that into serious account," said Embree.
"The reality is that [a stolen vehicle] does not meet the threshold for continuing the pursuit," he added, citing a policy change regarding pursuits that was made in 2009.