Mounties are searching for the driver of a vehicle that crashed into a fence at a supportive housing complex on Terminal Avenue in Nanaimo Tuesday morning.
It happened just before 10 a.m. at Newcastle Place, a complex at 250 Terminal Avenue.
“It was more terrifying than anything,” said Skylara Polehoike, a resident of the supportive housing complex.
“All we heard was just a major screech and the car came driving through our fence and that was just a big surprise like I couldn’t believe it. They kept going though. They didn’t stop. Yeah and we thought it was gonna hit a couple people but it didn’t,” she said.
“Smoke was coming out of the engine, the car was still running. The girl that was in the car she was crying on the phone,” said witness Lynette Rankin, a Manager at the neighbouring Castaway Motel.
Police say minutes prior to the crash, officer had attempted to stop the older-model Chevy Cavalier for a minor traffic violation but the driver fled at high speed.
“Given the speed involved, the time of day and the amount of vehicle and pedestrian foot traffic, the officer did not attempt to stop the vehicle,” Nanaimo RCMP said in a news release.
Officers observed the suspect vehicle proceeding to drive through two stop signs until they lost sight of it.
Around five minutes later they received a report that the vehicle crashed into a fence on Terminal Avenue and the driver fled from the scene.
A woman who remained at the scene, later determined to be the vehicle’s owner, was “less than forthcoming” when officers asked her who was driving the car, according to RCMP.
A canine unit was deployed but because of heavy foot traffic in the area could not track the suspect down.
The vehicle sustained significant damage and was towed away, and police said the fence at the complex will be repaired.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call RCMP at 250-754-2345 and quote file number 2022-8767.