WATCH: Witness rushed to help after horrific crash that saw a West Shore RCMP officer killed in the line of duty. Tess van Straaten reports.
Hours after a devastating overnight crash, a crumpled RCMP cruiser still blocks a Langford intersection.
“It breaks my heart,” says Jordan Coons, who lives across the street.
Coons witnessed the crash that tragically killed West Shore RCMP officer Sarah Beckett. He says the truck that hit her came barreling down Peatt Road just before Goldstream Avenue.
“The truck came flying by underneath my deck at a pretty high rate of speed and it was just enough for me to sit up and go wow, and then I heard the smash and then it was silent except the horn going off, it was pretty eerie.” Coons told CHEK News.
Coons says he rushed to help and was shocked at what he saw.
“The truck was basically sitting up on top of the cop car,” Coons says. “They were just mangled. His truck was right up on top of hers so his bumper was right inside her window.”
Within seconds, two police cars were on scene.
“Me and two of the other officers just started yanking on the door and trying to pry it open and eventually we just tried to get the truck off so we put it in reverse and had to move the guys legs to get him off the brake,” says Coons. “The poor guy, he was just beside himself.”
And so were the other officers, once they saw who it was.
“Immediately the other officers that were there were yelling, ‘Sarah, Sarah, oh my God she’s got kids, oh my God, get her out!”
But sadly, police and paramedics couldn’t save the mother of two.
‘Tragic and difficult day’ for RCMP
“Today is a tragic and difficult day,” RCMP Chief Superintendent Ray Bernoties told a media conference. “Today we lost one of our own.”
As a criminal investigation is launched, the busy intersection was shutdown for hours as investigators combed the scene.
“At this point, I can’t go into any details about the investigation whatsoever,” Chief Superintendent Bernoties says. “The collision itself is going to be investigated by the Saanich Police Dept to assure a degree of independence.”
But based on what he witnessed, Coons thinks he knows what happened.
“It really looked like they were chasing him and she came down as a cut off vehicle,” he says. “At the speed he was going there was no way he was going to stop.”
The truck’s driver, who was taken to hospital but not seriously hurt, is now in police custody.
A single bouquet of roses left on an RCMP cruiser guarding the scene is a poignant reminder of how much was lost.