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Watchdog clears West Shore RCMP of wrongdoing in Saanich teen’s death

19-year-old man died after driving off the road into the ocean in North Saanich
The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has cleared police of any wrongdoing in the death of a Saanich teen. (Black Press Media file photo)

Police have been cleared of any wrongdoing in the death of a Saanich teenager.

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) has concluded its investigation in West Shore RCMP’s involvement in the November 2021 death of a 19-year-old man with a Saanich address, who died after his car plunged into Patricia Bay.

At around 3 p.m. on Nov. 20, 2021, police arrested the man without incident and released him from custody at approximately 7 p.m., according to a statement from the IIO. At around 7:20 p.m., the man was reported to have breached his conditions and was spoken to by an officer from West Shore RCMP but not taken back into custody.

Shortly before 9 p.m., the man’s vehicle went off the road near the intersection of West Saanich and Mills roads in North Saanich and entered the water. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

READ MORE: RCMP investigate death of Saanich teen whose car plunged into Pat Bay

The chief civilian director of the IIO has reviewed the evidence, which includes civilian witness statements, medical information and police records, and determined neither police action nor inaction played a role in the man’s death.

“There were concerns regarding the man’s mental wellness, but available information reflects that grounds did not exist to apprehend the man under the Mental Health Act,” read the statement.

The IIO’s investigation has concluded, but the BC Coroners Service continues to conduct its investigation into the death.

The IIO is the independent civilian oversight agency of the police in B.C. and investigates all police-related incidents that result in serious harm or death.

READ MORE: Watchdog investigating West Shore RCMP’s potential role in Saanich man’s death


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About the Author: Peninsula News Review Staff

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