|A Kelowna RCMP cruiser was badly damaged when a drunk driver ran a red light and slammed into the vehicle early Tuesday morning, injuring the police officer driving the vehicle.|
A Mountie is out of hospital after a driver blew through a red light and smashed into the side of his patrol car, RCMP said.
The officer was dazed and injured by the collision near downtown Kelowna at 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Glass shattered on the passenger side, launching shards of glass that may have cut him. The crash destroyed the car and could have been fatal, said spokesman Const. Kris Clark.
"If there was a front passenger, he or she likely would have been killed," he said. "It's totalled, written off."
The officer was heading north on Richter Street as the 27-year-old driver of a Dodge pickup was speeding west on Cadder Avenue, police said. He failed to stop for a red light and T-boned the Crown Victoria's front passenger door and quarter panel.
He'd been drinking. A breathalyzer test found his blood-alcohol level was above the legal limit, Clark said.
The impact propelled the patrol car more than 20 metres down Cadder. A witness told CHBC the pickup driver tried to get away after the crash.
"He was trying to back up the truck and trying to move . . . the truck around. He couldn't get away because of the extensive damage to his truck," said Fred Does, who lives nearby and heard the crash.
The officer appeared disoriented. He asked what happened, and Does told him the truck had hit him.
"The driver was trying to get away or doing something, so (the officer) got out of his car, bleeding on his forehead, and apprehended him," Does told the TV station.
The officer had no broken bones. Paramedics took him to hospital for treatment. He'll be off work for at least a week, said Clark.
The front quarter of the passenger side is demolished. The metal is peeled off, exposing the car's sub-frame. The truck's front end is smashed, but the taller vehicle fared better in the collision.
The suspect was taken to hospital with slight injuries. He's known to police for minor infractions but apparently not for impaired driving. Police released him on a promise to appear in court in March.
He faces possible charges of impaired driving and dangerous driving causing bodily harm.