Two Trail cops congratulated for compassion
On Jan. 29, just before 2 p.m., Const. Kurtis Olineck and Const. Leo Turko of the Trail and Greater District RCMP received a report of an erratic driver travelling southbound on Highway 22 toward Trail. The elderly male driver was reported to have had a number of near misses with other vehicles.
While patrolling, Olineck located and conducted a traffic stop with the vehicle. Olineck conducted an investigation roadside, and learned that the driver was returning home after visiting a family member in a care home in a neighbouring community. During his investigation, the Constable ruled out any intoxicating substances as contributing factors to the erratic and dangerous driving behaviour, including alcohol, illicit drugs or prescribed medication.
The police officer suspected that the elderly man may suffer from medical issues that were causing him to experience some confusion and to drive poorly.
Olineck negotiated with the elderly motorist, who agreed to turn over his keys and arranged to have his partner Cst. Turko drive him home to his Montrose BC home. Cst. Olineck followed close behind in the elderly man’s vehicle to ensure it arrived at his home safely. Cst. Olineck later made a formal recommendation to the BC Motor Vehicle Branch to have the elderly man assessed medically in regards to driving a motor vehicle.
On Tuesday, Feb, 9, RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich of the Trail and Greater District RCMP received a handwritten letter that stated in part the following:
Just a little token to thank the both of you for going out of your way for me Jan 19th [29th] 2021 when you pulled me over in Castlegar for weaving in my lane… That same evening I was taken to [the hospital emergency room) and underwent extensive tests… [The next morning] I was taken by ambulance to [a regional hospital] and by 3 p.m., I was rushed into emergency surgery until 11 p.m. that night for a bleed on my brain. I can’t thank both of you enough for the care and kindness you showed me. This country honesty needs more police officers like the both of you. Had you not intervened this could (have) went so sad in so many ways. I am home and doing so well now but I just want to thank you both again so much!
Sgt. Mike Wicentowich, who had the honour of sharing the letter with both his Constables said, Thank-you Cst. Olineck and Cst. Turko for your professionalism and compassion. Your actions combined likely prevented a crash that could have had deadly consequences that day. You both represented yourselves as amongst the best of the RCMP.”