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Policeman not seriously injured after crash, despite social media rumour

This photo, which was taken near Fruitvale and posted on a FB group then later removed, had some locals fearing for the well-being of the officer involved.

A photograph posted on social media of a high-centred police vehicle, taken Sunday in the Pend d'Oreille, sparked rumours that a police officer had died, which is not the case, according to RCMP Sgt. Mike Wicentowich.

Wicentowich said the rumour had even reached the detachment.

“We’ve been hearing that, too,” he said. “(What really happened was that), at 4:12 p.m., two members were responding to a critical incident in the Pend Oreille.

“The two officers (in two separate vehicles) were turning off the Waneta highway onto Seven Mile Dam Road. The first officer slowed to turn, and the second officer realized he wouldn’t be able to slow in time to avoid hitting the first officer, so he went off road right.

“He ended up hitting the Trimac sign and high-centring the vehicle.”

The police vehicle, a Chevy Tahoe, was destroyed, but the officer was checked out in hospital and cleared to return to duty.

As for the cause of the crash, Wicentowich pointed out the officer was driving Code 3 at the time.

“They were operating with emergency lights and sirens, and travelling appropriately to a scene in which seconds were critical.”

The officers were responding to a fatal MVI (see https://castlegarsource.com/news/two-youth-presumed-dead-pend-oreille-crash for details).