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Posted: March 14, 2017

Columbia Valley RCMP Report

By Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck

During the past week the Columbia Valley RCMP detachment received about 65 calls for service.  The following is a small sample of those calls.

Rescued teetering on the edge

On March 10, at about 6:30 p.m., Columbia Valley RCMP received report of a van that had gone off the road on Lower Lakeview Road in Invermere and was teetering on the edge of a steep cliff.

Members attended and noted that a tow truck was already on scene. At the time, the occupants were unable to get out of the vehicle as it was on the verge of going down an embankment and there was a serious risk of serious harm to the occupants inside if there were any significant shifts in weight. Fortunately, the tow truck was able to anchor the van to a nearby tree, stabilizing the van enough for the occupants to get out safely. The tow truck was then able to pull back the moving van onto the road without damage or personal injury. Mainroad East Kootenay then came to the scene to sand the road prevent other vehicles meeting the same fate.

Impaired driver stopped on Upper Lakeview Road

During the very morning hours of March 11, RCMP stopped a Ford Focus on Upper Lakeview Road in Invermere after noting the vehicle failed to stop at an established check-stop on Athalmer Road. When confronted, the driver displayed obvious signs that he had been drinking before getting behind the wheel of the car. The young man was demanded to provide samples of his breath to be analysed roadside. He complied and provided two breath samples which both registered a ‘FAIL’ reading. The young man was served a 90 day Immediate Roadside Prohibition from driving and the vehicle was impounded for 30 days.

But there’s more…

Later on March 11, at about 4 p.m., this same young man called to report issues between him and his roommate. As it turned out, the male was driving his roommate’s vehicle when it was impounded and they had been fighting ever since. The roommate, in anger, had put his items outside with a “Free” sign and locked him out of the home. When police responded they could not find the roommate. Police were able to lend some assistance and eventually departed, only to be called back when RCMP were advised that the male’s vehicle in the driveway was now on fire.

Police re-attended the home where firefighters were already on scene. The front seat of the male’s car sustained fire damage and contents inside were covered in smoke damage.

This time the roommate was at home, and when spoken to by police admitted that he started the blaze but eventually called 911 as he was feeling guilty about the damage. Police continue to work with the two males.

Parkour-ing youths rounded up

March 11 continued to be busy as at about 9 p.m. an Invermere business owner contacted Columbia Valley RCMP to report that he could hear footsteps on the roof of his business where he was currently working. RCMP responded to the scene and observed two youths fleeing the area. After a short chase the males gave up and were subsequently detained for investigation. The young males admitted to being on the roof doing “parkour” over the pipes and ducting. The RCMP member explained how dangerous their actions were and how they could harm themselves. Furthermore, he explained the heightened risk assessment of police believing a robbery was about to take place. The kids were transported to their homes where the appropriate corrective actions could be better established by their parents.

Should have walked home

During the late evening hours of March 12, Columbia Valley RCMP was on patrol on 7th Avenue in Invermere when they noted a grey car that had been observed parked outside a local bar for hours leaving its parking spot. RCMP members conducted a traffic stop to check for valid documents and ensure the sobriety of the driver. The young woman operating the car admitted to consuming a glass of wine 20 minutes before departing in her vehicle. A roadside screening device was administered and resulted in two “Warns.” The female’s Driver Licence was seized for three days while the members used their discretion and did not impound the vehicle; she then walked home.

Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck is commander of the Columbia Valley RCMP Detachment

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