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UPDATE: Independent Investigations Office called in after fatal crash on 16 Avenue

A man was killed by a vehicle trying to flee police on 16 Avenue at 240 Street  during Monday evening
A man was killed by a vehicle trying to flee police on 16 Avenue at 240 Street during Monday evening's rush hour. The Independent Investigation Office has taken over the police-related crash.
— image credit: Curtis Kreklau photo

The BC Coroners Service has confirmed the identity of a man who was killed following a police-involved three vehicle crash on 16 Avenue on Monday evening.

The man is Victor Melo Duarte, aged 47, of Delta.

Duarte was the driver and sole occupant of one of three vehicles involved in a collision at the intersection of 16 Ave. and 240 Street at about 5:30 p.m.

One of the other vehicles involved was identified as a dark green pickup truck which had, about three minutes earlier, fled from RCMP who were conducting traffic enforcement in the 24000-block of 0 Avenue.

Duarte died at the scene of the crash. Neither he nor the driver of the third vehicle had any involvement whatsoever in the original incident with the RCMP, stressed the BC Coroner's Service.

The BC Coroners Service, Langley RCMP Traffic Services, and the Independent Investigations Office (IIO) continue to investigate this death. No charges have been laid against the driver of the truck who fled a police check.

The family of Duarte has been notified of his death. On behalf of family members, the BC Coroners Service asked that the media respect their privacy at this difficult time.

For the first time since its start-up in September, the Independent Investigation Office has been called to Langley. Its mission is to investigate the circumstances around the fatal car crash on Monday night.

Langley Traffic Services was conducting an Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR) enforcement project along with speed enforcement, in the 24000 block of 0 Avenue. At 5:30 p.m., officers were alerted by the ALPR to an approaching dark green pick-up truck. Officers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, which fled the scene.

Approximately three minutes later, a collision occurred at the intersection of 240 Street and 16 Avenue, three kilometres away. One of the three involved vehicles was the pickup truck that had fled from police.

The driver of the suspect vehicle has been arrested and remains in custody.

The male driver and lone occupant of the second vehicle was killed in the crash. The male driver of the third vehicle was uninjured.

The IIO has taken conduct of this investigation to determine the circumstances that led to this fatality.

The IIO was notified about the crash at 6:09 p.m., just over 30 minutes after the crash occurred. IIO staff were deployed to the scene, including investigators from the Specialized Forensic and Collision team, as well as the manager, affected persons. Preliminary investigative tasks included identifying any officer and civilian witnesses, ensuring the security of the scene and the notification of the next of kin.

Any witnesses to this incident are asked to call the IIO Information Line at 1-855-446-8477.

The IIO and the involved police service (Langley RCMP) are expected to work co-operatively within the terms agreed upon in the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the Chief Civilian Director and B.C.'s police services in July 2012.

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