Man arrested in connection with fatal Ladysmith crash was staying at campground near Nanaimo, say friends

Man arrested in connection with fatal Ladysmith crash was staying at campground near Nanaimo, say friends
CHEK
WatchAfter being on the run for days, the man wanted in connection with a fatal crash on Vancouver Island was arrested while sleeping inside a tent at a campground in Nanaimo, according to his friends

After being on the run for days, the man wanted in connection with a fatal crash on Vancouver Island was arrested while sleeping inside a tent at a campground in Nanaimo, according to his friends.

On Aug. 29, a Ford F-150 pickup truck went over a concrete median on the Trans-Canada Highway near Ladysmith and collided with SUV heading in the opposite direction, killing 35-year-old Katie Blogg, a mother of two.

According to the BC RCMP, the driver of the pickup truck ran to a nearby gas station and stole a vehicle, later found in Chemainus, resulting in a five-day manhunt that ended Wednesday morning.

Although police announced the man had been arrested in the late morning hours on Sept. 2, they did not reveal the man’s identity or the location where the arrest took place.

But friends, who asked that their identities not be disclosed because they have children, told CHEK the man was arrested at their campsite on Spurston Road, south of Nanaimo. They said they had been letting the suspect stay with them on and off since Sunday, the day after the fatal crash.

“We didn’t keep him. We just told him that we loved him. That’s it,” said one of his friends, adding. “Because he doesn’t have anybody that loves him and he would have killed himself.”

BC RCMP previously told CHEK the man they were searching for was in his 30s and known to law enforcement on Vancouver Island as well as in the Lower Mainland.

Despite reportedly telling RCMP he would turn himself in, the man managed to elude law enforcement for nearly six days. One of the friends said the reason the man ran from the scene was that he had outstanding warrants.

“That’s’ why he ran,” she said.

Another friend said she didn’t know he was the same man police say was behind the wheel of a pickup truck that struck and killed a woman. Asked how she couldn’t have known, she said she hadn’t looked at her phone.

“I mean there’s been different stories,” she said, adding. “I just haven’t had my phone and I’ve been camping.”

Meanwhile, management at the campground said the man wasn’t even a registered guest and were stunned to learn he had been staying there.

RELATED: B.C. police continue to hunt for man involved in crash that killed Ladysmith mother

RELATED: Ladysmith mourns death of mother killed in multi-vehicle crash as suspect remains at large

BC RCMP Cpl. Mike Halskov said he couldn’t comment on specifics about the arrest or provide details about the suspect. However, he said the pressure from the public was intense, and rightfully so, adding that while it may have appeared that police weren’t doing their jobs, they were working as hard as they could.

“We feel the pressure from the public too and we totally understand their frustration as to why we can’t be forthcoming with more information, including a suspect’s name or a picture or things like that,” he said.“While we would like to sometimes release more information, there are times where our hands are tied and we can’t.”

Although the pressure was intense, said Halskov, police are thankful for the public’s interest in the matter.

“We want to thank both the media and public for keeping the pressure on and keeping this tragic incident at the forefront, which undoubtedly put some pressure on the suspect to hunker down into a place where we could finally get our hands on him,” he said.

The investigation into the crash is still ongoing but once complete, RCMP will be recommending a handful of charges to Crown counsel.

“We will be recommending a number of very serious charges including criminal negligence causing death, failure to remain at the scene of an accident causing death, and there may be other charges that flow from this as well,” said Halskov.

The man is expected to appear in court in “the next day or two” for the unrelated charges against him, according to Halskov.

“There will probably be some discussion on the fatal crash,” he said. “From there, it is up to courts to decide whether he will be held in custody or released on some sort of conditions while the investigation continues and makes its way to the courts.”

A GoFundMe has been established for the family and has raised more than $100,000 since launching Aug. 31. To view or donate to the GoFundMe fundraiser established for the Blogg family, click here.

RELATED: Motorist wanted in connection with fatal crash near Ladysmith to turn himself in, say RCMP

RELATED: RCMP says motorist involved in fatal three-vehicle crash near Ladysmith identified but still not located

 

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