A Highway 1 crash involving an elderly man who at least one person thought was not fit to drive was not due to the “action or inaction” of the Mountie involved, B.C.’s police watchdog said this week.

According to a report from the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., Kamloops police were called Oct. 16, 2022 by an unnamed person who said they had concerns about an elderly man who was planning to drive to Calgary.

“The caller expressed doubt about the man’s ability to do so safely. He stated that the man was waiting at the caller’s location and was available to speak to police before departing,” according to the IIO.

“The non-police call-takers issued an alert to police to be on the lookout for the car in question. Operational issues, however, caused a 42-minute delay in dispatching information about the potential inability of the man to drive safely and in sharing that he was waiting to speak to police.”

In the report, the IIO said the man waited for approximately 30 minutes from the time of the call before departing the caller’s location. A few hours later, he was involved in a collision with an oncoming vehicle on Highway 1 near Chase.

The man was seriously injured and airlifted to hospital for treatment; the occupants of the other vehicle were also injured.

“The IIO’s Chief Civilian Director has reviewed the records and evidence and determined that, given the delay in the dispatch of information to police, the collision cannot be said to be the result of the actions or inactions of an officer,” the IIO said.

“Accordingly, the matter will not be referred to Crown counsel for consideration of charges, and the IIO’s investigation is concluded.”