Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP officers, with help from the public, were able to slow and stop a suspected erratic driver on Highway 97. (Black Press file)

Public helps RCMP slow, stop North Okanagan erratic driver

Incident happened northbound on Highway 97 near Vernon; suspected drug overdose on part of driver

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP received numerous calls from the public in regards to an erratic driver Tuesday, April 14.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m., officers were alerted to an older model Kia Sorento being driven at erratic speeds northbound on Highway 97 and colliding with the highway’s centre barricades.

The Sorento continued northbound even after sustaining damages, including a deflated tire. As the vehicle slowed to approximately five km/hour other vehicles travelling on the highway assisted the vehicle in coming to a complete stop.

“Seeing that the car was not going to stop, one witness used their pick-up truck to box in the car against the barricade to prevent it from going any further,” said RCMP Cpl. Tania Finn, media relations officer. “Fortunately, the car was going slow by this point and the truck was able to stop the vehicle without any injury to themselves, the other driver or any member of the public. It was definitely a risky maneuver and not one that police would recommend, but we are grateful it worked out.”

As officers arrived on the scene, they observed the driver slipping into an unconscious state. With assistance from Vernon Fire and Rescue and the BC Ambulance Service, entry into the locked vehicle was gained and the driver was administered Narcan for an apparent drug overdose.

The driver, a 37-year-old man from Lake Country, was transported to the nearest medical facility, where he continues to receive medical care.

The police investigation in regard to the dangerous driving continues.

If you or anyone you know witnessed this incident and have not yet spoken to police, contact Const. Gunn at the Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP non-emergency line of 250-545-7171.

READ MORE: Vernon crash nearly takes out recycling truck driver

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