The driver of an SUV drove into a condo realtor office in Saanich Monday evening. (Courtesy of Tony Zarsadias)

Driver crashes into Saanich business, flees scene

Incident leaves extensive damage to Condo Group office building

They weren’t looking for a new condo, but a driver found themselves parked inside a Saanich real estate office Monday night.

The owners of The Condo Group, a Victoria-based condo and townhouse broker, learned something was amiss around 10 p.m. when security alarms started going off in their office, located in the 3600-block of Tillicum Road.

Co-owner Tony Zarsadias said he spoke to the security company and they said, ‘you might want to go check out your office because there’s a car inside.’

READ ALSO: Car drives into Vic West TD Canada Trust building

Zarsadias said the police told them the driver was evading police when they crashed into the building and had fled the scene shortly after.

“They would of come down Battleford [Avenue] and missed the turn … It’s a 90-degree turn [and] a very narrow road.”

He added, “the driver is really, really lucky that they didn’t hit the concrete pillar at the corner … Because that would have been really bad.”

According to Saanich Police at approximately 10 p.m. on Monday, a patrol officer observed a Saturn SUV speeding in the area of Tennyson Avenue and Boleskine Road. When the officer attempted to move in behind the vehicle to pull it over, the driver of the SUV continued to accelerate away. Police did not pursue the vehicle due to the potential safety risks to other members of the public and lost sight of the SUV.

When SPD arrived at the scene of the crash, the driver and possible passengers had already fled the scene. Police and the K9 unit searched but were unable to locate anyone.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP investigating possible impairment after pickup repeatedly crashes

“Obviously we’re concerned for people’s well being no matter what their behaviors are,” said Sgt. Damian Kowalewich of the Saanich Police Department.

Kowalewich told members of the media that officers were trying to determine if there’s any video surveillance at the commercial building and in other areas as the incident spanned several blocks and streets.

“Right now we’re working on communicating with the registered owner of that vehicle to determine if that person knows anything or is in fact the driver,” said Kowalewich, adding the driver would be facing charges.

“Obviously very concerning that someone would drive in that fashion, and losing control to a point of crashing into a commercial building is very, very scary for people but one silver lining is it was 10 o’clock at night and nobody was in the building,” said Kowalewich.

Co-owner Chris Gill said the incident is the second time their business has been struck by a car. In 2015, another driver drove into their office, then at a different location off of Douglas Street.

“So we have five years before the next one,” he said with a laugh.

Gill said insurance covered the last incident and the duo is hoping the extensive damage from last night’s ‘drive-in’ will also be covered.

“I’m sure our deductible is going up,” he quipped. For the time being, the Condo Group’s office is still fully operational since about half of the space was untouched.

With files from Kendra Crighton



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

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