Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP arrest a suspect in connection with a stolen vehicle incident in Okanagan Landing Tuesday evening. (Photo submitted)

Stolen semi crashed

Tronson Road incident causes closure

What started as a report of a possible impaired driver in Vernon Tuesday resulted in an arrest and recovery of two stolen vehicles in Okanagan Landing.

Early Tuesday evening, Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a possible impaired driver that had just crashed into a small car in the Tronson Road area.

“Witnesses reported that the driver and passenger fled the vehicle after hitting a large rock causing both airbags to deploy,” said RCMP Cpl. Dan Moskaluk. “The female passenger walked away while the male stole a small bicycle from a neighbouring residence.”

Moskaluk said the man then jumped into a large commercial truck parked running along the roadside whose driver was nearby, discussing where he was going to place a delivery with his client.

“The suspect then backed the truck into a parked Jeep Grand Cherokee, pushing it out of his way,” said Moskaluk. “The suspect then continued backwards at a high rate of speed down a hill in this rural residential area.”

As he suspect attempted to leave the area, a responding police officer noticed the truck and nearby witnesses. The suspect did manage to depart the area after the officer deployed a spike belt which was ineffective at stopping or slowing the truck. The driver narrowly missed the officer.

The truck continued on but crashed approximately one kilometre further up the road, rolling the vehicle onto its side.

“RCMP officers converged on the vehicle and took the man into custody without further incident, as he was unable to get out of the overturned truck,” said Moskaluk.

The male was transported by ambulance to Vernon Jubilee Hospital and released to police custody that night. Investigators made a blood demand to the individual in order to determine whether the man’s ability to operate a vehicle was impaired by alcohol or drugs.

The male remained in custody for a court appearance.

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