The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. (IIO) and Penticton RCMP have reported that a four-year-old is dead after an off-duty Penticton RCMP officer struck the young pedestrian crossing the road at the intersection of Fairview Road and Highway 97.
Around 5 p.m. Sept. 15 an off-duty police officer driving personal vehicle struck the young Penticton boy who was reportedly crossing the intersection with his family. The child did not survive the injuries.
IIO employees are currently investigating the incident and further resources including extra investigators and a manager of affected persons to assist the family are arriving Wednesday morning from Surrey after being notified of the incident on Sept. 15 by the Penticton RCMP around 6 p.m. Investigators arrived late last night and continued to arrive Wednesday morning.
“At this point in time we are calling for witnesses who may have seen anything. This is a busy intersection at approximately 5 p.m. yesterday,” said Ralph Krenz Media spokesperson for the IIO.
“I think there are people out there who might have seen something that we are not aware of, or haven’t spoken to,” Krenz said.
The IIO is asking anyone who may have witnessed anything relating to the incident to contact their witness reporting line at 1-855-466-8477.
As for details of the incident, the IIO said they could not comment on the particulars at this time, however another press conference is being held at 10:30 a.m.
“This is very preliminary and we don’t have a lot of details at this particular point in time,” Krenz said.
“We’re still trying to identify those key elements obviously those will be the subject of further investigation.”
The investigation was initially started by the RCMP.
“Where there is a situation involving serious harm or death and it’s the actions of a police officer involved, either on or off duty, police services in this province are required to notify the Independent Investigations Office,” Krenz said. “Once we’re notified, the IIO has jurisdiction until the Chief Civilian Director decides not to continue on with the investigations.”
Krenz was unable to confirm whether a reported black pick-up truck was related to the incident, however he said the vehicle involved would likely be seized for further analysis.
The IIO said they would provide further information at a press conference at 10:30 a.m.