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Posted: January 29, 2018

Columbia Valley RCMP Report

By Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck

The last week witnessed the Columbia Valley RCMP respond to about 55 calls for service; last year that number was around 40. The following is a summary of a couple of the more interesting calls.

Hit and run by Hummer solved

On January 22, at about 2 p.m., a car owner attended the Columbia Valley Detachment to report that her Volkswagen had been struck by a vehicle while it was parked in front of the Pharmasave and the offending vehicle departed without leaving a note.

The complainant relayed that she had been parked next to a white Hummer and someone had witnessed the Hummer back up and strike the Volkswagen. A passenger from the Hummer surveyed the strike and then left the scene. Police attended and photographed the damage to the Volkswagen and spoke to a witness who was able to confirm the information.

Armed with some clues the investigator conducted patrols and located a vehicle matching the description provided by the witness.¬†Police spoke with the vehicle’s registered owner who confirmed that they had been at the Pharmasave at the time of the accident but they did not believe they struck the Volkswagen.¬†Further examination of the Hummer identified minor scratches on the bumper consistent with the damage to the Volkswagen.¬†Consequently, the Hummer owner was issued a Violation Ticket for Fail to Stop after collision with unattended vehicle.

Driver injured in collision with elk

During the late evening hours of January 25, Columbia Valley RCMP responded to a motor vehicle incident on Highway 93/95 just north of Canal Flats where a driver operating a Cadillac sedan had struck an elk.

BC Ambulance, Canal Flats Fire Department and police attended the scene and the driver was safely extracted from her vehicle and transported to the Invermere & District Hospital.¬†Police observations coupled with the driver’s statement suggested that she was travelling at a reasonable rate of speed and the road conditions were okay when she struck the elk.¬†There was no indication that alcohol or drugs were a factor in the collision.

Fairmont B&E

On January 27, RCMP received a report that someone had broken into a family cottage located in Fairmont Hot Springs. Entry was gained by breaking through a locked door.

Police attended and spoke with the complainant who was checking the house for her parents to make sure the pipes had not frozen when she found the back door damaged. The investigation is continuing.

Calls up but slower week

Although the call volume was up, half of our calls surrounded some pretty uneventful events; there were seven false alarms, seven abandoned 911 calls and 14 calls relating to vehicles either slipping off the highway or complaints of erratic driving.

Why you should choose your words carefully

Sometimes I forget the impact of my words when I am wearing my uniform.

When I was a rookie I was investigating a small fender bender when a 16-year-old female had driven into the back of another vehicle at a stop sign. There were no injuries but there was some damage to both vehicles.

A few nights after the event I went to the house of the young girl to chat with her about the collision when her mother answered the door.¬†¬†Not thinking about the impact of my words, I asked if the 16-year-old was home and after her mom replied she was not, I¬†then opened the conversation by saying, ‚ÄúYour daughter was in an accident.‚ÄĚ

Seeing the look on the mother’s face as soon as I finished the sentence made me realize what I had said and the inference I made. Between the panic and the sobs I was able to reassure her I was just there to serve a ticket.

Needless to say, her mother was relieved that her daughter was okay.  As I left the house I promised myself that I would be a lot more careful in choosing my opening conversation.

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

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