Witnesses to a serious four-vehicle crash that sent two people to hospital and closed a stretch of Quadra Street Saturday afternoon say it was preceded by a police attempt to stop an erratic driver.
The crash happened just before 4:30pm Saturday, near the corner of Quadra and Caen Street in Saanich, not far from the Pat Bay Highway on ramp.
Roshni Grant says she was driving her daughter and a friend home from a trip to Beaver Lake, when her car became the first hit by a silver Honda Civic.
“All of a sudden I just saw this silver car in my lane and bang,” she said.
Grant says she’s glad everyone in her car escaped unhurt.
Most of the other people involved in the crash, including an infant in a car seat, were fine too.
But Saanich Police say two people were hurt and taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, including the driver of the Honda.
Police kept Quadra closed from Chatterton Way to Panorama Drive closed for several hours while investigators worked the scene, but only say they haven’t ruled out drugs or alcohol as factors, and won’t have information to release until Monday.
But witnesses say the Honda, with custom modifications and an N sticker was driving erratically just before the crash, and attracted police attention.
“He cut me off, cut off a couple of other drivers, I noticed a police officer at Saanich and Quadra waiting and he came out, turned his lights on,” said Matthew Chitty.
“We all moved over, he went past, then i see the Civic at Beckwith on a red light and as soon as he saw the officer, he [the Civic driver] took off through the red light … and then 30 seconds later i hear sirens all over the place.”
So far, Saanich police have only said their officers “came across” the crash. But BC’s Independent Investigations Office confirms they have been notified, as police are required to do if anyone is seriously injured as a result of their action or inaction.
The IIO is assessing to determine if there was serious harm and a connection to anything police did or didn’t do. A spokesperson says that process could take several days to complete.