Stephen Brun, Summerside, PEI (The Journal Pioneer) – East Prince RCMP officers will undergo a mandatory internal review following a fatal crash earlier this week in Richmond.
Ronald Elmer McCarville, 49, of Kensington died Wednesday after his pickup truck left Route 2 and crashed into a tree in the front yard of a home.
According to the RCMP, officers pursuing the vehicle opted to stop their pursuit twice during the incident – once in Miscouche and again after entering a 60-km/hour zone in Richmond.
Sgt. Andrew Blackadar of the Charlottetown RCMP said the second officer had pulled back enough that he did not see McCarville’s truck strike the tree.
“There are cases where police officers are justified in actually ramming vehicles off the highway, but they have to take into account the public safety…and traffic (Wednesday) was just too heavy for us to use any other intervention option,” said Blackadar.
“Both these pursuits lasted a very short period of time, and the police officers in both cases made the decision that, ‘I’m not going to do it because it’s not worth it.’”
Police began receiving reports about a dangerous driver in the New Annan area, shortly after McCarville had apparently dropped off a passenger.
“We do know he dropped somebody off in Kensington and we believe he was going home at that point, but then left in the opposite direction and headed west on the number 2. It was somebody he was dropping off at the end of the day, and the two incidents are not connected,” said Blackadar. “There were a couple other cars that were struck by McCarville on the way to Richmond.”
Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the crash. An autopsy was performed Thursday morning in Charlottetown, but results aren’t expected for about two weeks.
Blackadar said a review of officer procedures is mandatory under the circumstances, and will be carried out by separate RCMP detachments.
“We’ve given the investigation to a unit in Charlottetown. They’ll follow up on the death investigation, the dangerous driving investigation, as well as the actions of the police officers,” he said. “Once that’s completed it then goes for an independent officer review outside the province – so somebody will look at it and make sure, did we follow policy here…and is our policy still effective?”