Jail for man involved in South Okanagan police chase

Derek John Ledgard, 22, pleaded guilty to fleeing from a police officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and other charges.

The man who rammed a stolen car into a police cruiser before leading an officer on a chase from Osoyoos to Oliver is serving 40 days in jail plus time served since his April arrest.

Derek John Ledgard, 22, pleaded guilty to fleeing from a police officer, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property under $5,000 after leading police on both a vehicle and foot chase that ended in his arrest in Oliver.

Around midnight on April 3 an Osoyoos police officer pulled over a 1999 Toyota Camry which had been recently reported stolen out of the Boundary area. After pulling over, Ledgard put his vehicle in reverse ramming the police cruiser twice before fleeing.

Ledgard was chased by the officer to Oliver where police deployed a spike belt across the highway. Ledgard fled on foot after the vehicle came to a stop at the corner of Fairview and Highway 97.

Police pursued and arrested Ledgard a block away.

Ledgard, who has a prior criminal record, was on a driving probation at the time and breaking a 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

“I know what I did was wrong and I’m truly sorry,” Ledgard said. “I’m responsible for my actions whatever the consequences may be. When I do get out of here I’m going to try my hardest to stay clean off drugs and change my life around, get a job.”

“I hope you can,” said Judge Gail Sinclair. “We have not very much education, we have a drug issue on top of that, we have negative peers and so we commit crimes to live. So that’s kind of a bleak situation unless you Mr. Ledgard take it upon yourself to change that.”

Defence counsel John Stoll said that Ledgard had a “tragic upbringing” growing up in 10 different foster homes, as well as having an addiction to methamphetamine.

Ledgard also received one year probation and a driving prohibition for three years after the completion of his sentence.