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Fleeing suspect crashes vehicle near Shambhala

Police said the officer noticed the male was acting suspicious and while approaching the vehicle a second time, the male sped off.

Charges are being considered after a man crashed a vehicle near the Shambhala Music Festival Thursday afternoon RCMP said in a media release.

The incident began at approximately 3:30 p.m. Thursday when a West Kootenay Traffic officer stopped a lone male for speeding on Highway 3 west of Salmo.

Police said the officer noticed the male was acting suspicious and while approaching the vehicle a second time, the male sped off.

“The police officer was able to flatten a tire on the suspect vehicle with a spike strip,” RCMP said. “A brief pursuit was called off with the suspect fleeing east toward Salmo.”

Police said several minutes later, the vehicle was located by other officers, but the driver did not stop. Once again, police did not continue a pursuit.

RCMP said the driver eventually crashed his vehicle between Highway 3 and the Salmo river before attempting to light his vehicle on fire. The suspect then fled into the Salmo river. RCMP officers caught up to the 39-year-old male and took him into custody while in the Salmo river.

Police said the man refused to identify himself but was wearing a bracelet identifying him as "Shambhala Crew”.

“Due to how the bracelets were handed out, the Shambhala organization was not able to assist with identifying the male,” RCMP said. “He was eventually identified through a piece of paper left in the vehicle.”

Police said the man was found to be breaching several conditions related to a Probation Order and Undertaking. 

RCMP will forward the information to Crown Counsel for charge consideration.

"The actions of this male put numerous people's lives at risk and we are thankful no one was hurt,” said Sgt. Chad Badry of the West Kootenay Traffic Services.

“As police continue the investigation they are seeking any witnesses to the dark red Dodge driving, the crash, or the suspect actions following the crash,” Badry added.

RCMP noted numerous people from the Shambhala Music Festival that were on the shore of the Salmo river right where the crash and arrest took place.

In addition, an unidentified passerby pointed out the crash location to the police. Anyone with information is asked to call 250-354-5180.