Warning: This story contains content that may be upsetting to some readers.
A pedestrian who died on Highway 1 in Chilliwack had been involved in a police investigation earlier in the day, according to The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) of BC.
They released the details of the incident from June 24, 2020, saying the officers who were involved “cannot be held accountable for the outcome as the man was responsible for his own death.”
The man’s name has not been released by RCMP.
On that day, the IIO says RCMP officers interviewed the man regarding an investigation into serious alleged offences. The release does not detail how the man was related to the investigation.
— IIOBC (@iiobc) July 23, 2020
During the interview, the man requested to go outside for a break, which was permitted as he was not being detained. The man did not return to complete the interview, but instead left the detachment without notifying officers.
A short time later, the man walked into traffic on Highway 1 east of Chilliwack, and was struck by an oncoming commercial vehicle. The man did not survive his injuries.
The report states that the Chief Civilian Director has reviewed the evidence, including statements from independent witnesses, and has determined that the death of the man was not the result of police action or inaction.
“Although police do have a duty of care when an individual is being interviewed, including to ensure the person is not a danger to themselves, in this instance the man was not exhibiting any signs of distress which would have caused officers to be concerned for his welfare,” it concludes. “Therefore, the officers cannot be held accountable for the outcome as the man was responsible for his own death.”
If you are in need of help, here are some available mental health resources:
- If you are in crisis, call 310-6789 to be connected to the crisis center nearest you (an area code is not needed)
- Crisis Services Canada
- British Columbia: crisislines.bc.ca
- Vancouver and surrounding areas: crisiscentre.bc.ca
- Vancouver Island: vicrisis.ca
- VictimLinkBC – Call 1-800-563-0808
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