Driver crashes in bid to evade police; witnesses sought

Saanich police are looking for witnesses who saw a car crash while trying to evade police after it was seen travelling more than twice the speed limit.

A Saanich officer driving in the 1100 block of Royal Oak Drive, near Lochside Elementary School, spotted a 2017 black Ford Fusion travelling about 120 kilometres an hour in a 50 km/h zone about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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The driver attempted to overtake another vehicle and the oncoming police car swerved to avoid being hit, said Saanich police spokesman Sgt. Jereme Leslie.

The officer did a U-turn to pull over the driver, but the vehicle was already out of sight.

A block away, at the intersection of Royal Oak Drive and Cordova Bay Road, the officer found the vehicle had crashed after the driver was unable to negotiate a curve in the road.

A 21-year-old Saanich man was arrested for dangerous driving. He has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court in February.

Leslie called the driver’s actions “tremendously dangerous.”

“The actions of the driver put the public at significant risk and it’s extremely lucky no one was using the sidewalk where the vehicle left the road,” he said. “Someone could have easily been injured or killed.”

Saanich police want to speak with two witnesses who were standing on the sidewalk near the crash and are asking other witnesses to come forward. Anyone who witnessed the crash or saw the car earlier is asked to call Saanich police at 250-475-4321.

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