BC’s police watchdog says Vancouver Police Department officers did not contribute to a crash between a Car2Go Smart Car and a taxi that left the cab driver dead.
On December 29 just before 3:30 am, the Smart Car driver avoided a VPD road check at East Hastings Street and Clark Drive. Another officer saw the driver going eastbound on Hastings later, and did a U-Turn to follow him, according to the Independent Investigations Office of BC.
But the officer lost sight of the Smart Car, which had turned onto Renfrew Street.
About 10 minutes later, according to the VPD, the Smart Car driver ran a red light and T-boned a Yellow Cab taxi at 1st Avenue and Renfrew. The taxi driver, 28-year-old Sanehpal Randhawa, was killed in the crash.
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The IIO investigates all incidents involving police in BC that result in death or serious injury, and began looking into the collision since the Smart Car driver avoided an impaired driving checkpoint.
No further police contact was made after trying to stop the driver at the checkpoint, and “the actions of police did not contribute to the collision,” the IIO said in a news release.
“Police were not in the vicinity at the time of the collision and only learned of it after other emergency services arrived at the scene,” the IIO continued.
The Smart Car driver was believed to be impaired, Vancouver police said at the time.
Randhawa’s friends and the larger community were gutted by his death, and an online fundraiser gathered nearly $23,000 in his memory. Organizers gave the money to Randhawa’s parents, who live in India.
Randhawa was planning to sponsor them to come to Canada, since he had just put a downpayment on a house for them to share in Surrey.