Northwest

Man speeds through Peace Arch border crossing, then evades police for nearly 30 miles

A man driving a pick-up with Oregon plates reportedly drove through the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada without stopping Saturday, Sept. 15, sped toward Vancouver, B.C., and was arrested after crashing.
A man driving a pick-up with Oregon plates reportedly drove through the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada without stopping Saturday, Sept. 15, sped toward Vancouver, B.C., and was arrested after crashing. The Bellingham Herald File

A man in his 20s driving a blue Ford pickup drove through the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada without stopping Saturday morning and sped toward Vancouver, B.C.

He was later arrested by Vancouver Police after colliding with another car nearly 30 miles north of the border and crashing into an unoccupied drum retail store, according to a press release on the incident.

At around 8:20 a.m. Saturday, Vancouver Police were notified by the Surrey Royal Canadian Mounted Police that a man driving a truck with Oregon license plates had driven through the border crossing and was speeding toward Vancouver.

The pickup reportedly evaded Surrey Mounted Police, which patrols the area immediately surrounding the Peace Arch, as well as Delta Police Department and Richmond Royal Canadian Mounted Police before Vancouver Police spotted it at West 16th Avenue and Oak Street, near Vancouver General Hospital.

Officers tried to pull the truck over, but the man refused to stop and continued west with police in pursuit. At about 8:30 a.m., the truck collided with a Mazda sedan at 10th Avenue and Alma Street, the release said, and then crashed into the Rufus Drum Shop.

The store posted photos of the aftermath of the crash on its Instagram account.

The 32-year-old Vancouver man who was driving the Mazda suffered minor injuries.

Vancouver Police will recommend charges for dangerous driving and causing a police pursuit, according to the release. The driver of the pickup was not identified, though additional charges are anticipated as the investigation progresses.

“Investigators are now working with our partnering agencies to determine who this man is and why he ran the border,” Vancouver Police Constable Jason Doucette said in the release.

According to a story published by the National Post, the incident has highlighted what it called “a potentially dangerous quirk of border security.”

Unlike their American counterparts, Canadian border guards are not allowed to chase vehicles that run through the border.

Canadian Border Service Agency officers wear firearms and have vehicles capable of pursuing somebody who runs the border, according to the Post, but protocol says they are only authorized to radio ahead to police with a description of the vehicle, which was done in Saturday’s incident.

“Our officers want to do the job; they are very frustrated by not being allowed to chase people running through the border,” said Jean-Pierre Fortin, president of the Customs and Immigration Union, in the Post.

After speeding through the border crossing Saturday, the pickup evaded the Surrey Mounted Police, which patrols the area immediately surrounding Peace Arch, as well as the Delta Police Department and Richmond Royal Canadian Mounted Police before the Vancouver Police identified it near Vancouver General Hospital.

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