The New Skeena River Bridge on Hwy 16 was closed Nov. 29 for almost two hours in Terrace. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Two suspects arrested following police chase in Terrace

Two police cruisers and a civilian vehicle were damaged

Two people are in custody after a police chase in Terrace closed down the Dudley Little Bridge near Ferry Island on Nov. 29.

At approximately 9:15 a.m., Terrace RCMP responded to a report of a possible impaired driver in a maroon Ford truck and located the truck shortly after on Hwy 16.

The Ford truck crashed into two police cruisers and a civilian vehicle before coming to a stop. A youth was arrested in the truck, but the other suspect fled from the crash on foot onto Ferry Island leading police to pursue the man, reads a Terrace RCMP press release.

Alongside police, the provincial Conservation Authority and a RCMP dog services unit were called to help with the investigation and located the suspect after a rigorous search.

Witness Sharlene King says she was driving westbound on Hwy 16 when she saw the police chase come through. She was in her Chevrolet Spark vehicle when the Ford truck passed her and drove through the centre of the roundabout.

“To get into the roundabout, he comes barreling beside me right over the red bricks at the centre of the roundabout… he was then weaving in and out of all the traffic,” King says.

“And two cops came up behind me so I knew they were on his tail… the bread truck was then across the whole highway.”

Steve Lavoie, owner and operator of the local Weston franchise, was driving the Wonder Bread truck that helped stop the highway pursuit.

He brought his 10-year-old daughter on her day off of school to work and they were on their way into town to run deliveries when he saw police cruisers trying to stop the Ford truck.

“The cops came by, tried blocking the road and the guys got past them so we blocked the road for them,” Lavoie says. “We didn’t feel much when they hit us, my truck’s pretty big and they had slowed down before hitting us.”

The Ford truck hit the back of Lavoie’s vehicle, but he says there weren’t any damages. He was able to drive away to finish up his work errands after the suspects were arrested and the Ford pickup was towed.

”The cops didn’t want to tow the truck until they caught the guy… it sounds more exciting than it actually was,” says Lavoie. “We just sat there for two hours, playing on our phones and answering a bunch of messages from everybody.”

A Hazelton-area man was arrested for numerous offences including assaulting a police officer with a weapon, possession of stolen property, flight from police, obstruction, driving while prohibited, dangerous driving, and possession of property obtained by crime exceeding $5,000.

The youth was arrested for possession of stolen property as well. No one was injured in the collision.

Hwy 16 was closed between Walmart and the roundabout for approximately 90 minutes while police investigated.

All drivers were redirected onto the Old Skeena River Bridge to cross the river, causing a heavy delay in traffic. All transit services to Thornhill were also inaccessible at the time being.

As large transport vehicles and trucks were not permitted to cross the Old Skeena River Bridge, they were stalled at both ends of Hwy 16 waiting for the Dudley Little Bridge.

 

(Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

Large transport vehicles and trucks were not permitted to cross the Old Skeena River Bridge, and were stalled for approximately two hours at both ends of Hwy 16 waiting for the New Skeena River Bridge to reopen. (Natalia Balcerzak/Terrace Standard)

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