Friday 17 August 2018

Irishman in serious condition after being struck by police vehicle in Canada

The scene of where Brendan Keogh was struck by a police vehicle Photo: Google Maps
The scene of where Brendan Keogh was struck by a police vehicle Photo: Google Maps
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

An Irishman is fighting for his life in Canada after being struck by a police vehicle.

The man, who has been named locally as Brendan Keogh, is said to have been in a serious condition in hospital in Vancouver, British Columbia since the collision on March 13.

Mr Keogh, who is originally from the village of  Mullinalaghta in Co Longford, was walking along the busy intersection of Highway 99 and Garibaldi Way in Squamish town at around 10.30pm local time when he was struck by an on-duty officer with the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Services, who was driving an unmarked SUV.

Mr Keogh (29) was rushed to hospital and it's understood that his parents and two sisters have flown to Canada to be by his side.

Fianna Fail Councillor PJ Reilly told Independent.ie that Mr Keogh's friends and family are shocked by the incident.

He said: "I know his father Kevin quite well, the family is well-known in the area.

"I know Brendan is in quite a serious condition, I've heard there was a slight improvement but it's still said to be very serious, it's really tough on them.

"I want to wish Brendan and his family well, I wish them good luck in these tragic circumstances."

It is understood that Mr Keogh had been living in Canada for a year.

Canadian police watchdog The Independent Investigations Office (IIO) has confirmed that an investigation has been launched.

The IIO said in a statement: "The Independent Investigation Office of B.C. has deployed investigators to a motor vehicle incident in Squamish involving a pedestrian.

"Initial information provided to the IIO by the RCMP suggests that at approximately 10:30 pm on Tuesday March 13, 2018, an unmarked police vehicle was involved in a collision with the pedestrian at the intersection of Highway 99 and Garibaldi Way in Squamish.

"Emergency Health Services attended the scene and the male pedestrian was transported to hospital with serious injuries."

They said in an updated statement that they are hoping to speak to anyone who may have witnessed the crash.

"The IIO has identified a potential key witness (driver and or occupants) of a small white hatchback vehicle turning right from Garibaldi Way (as seen in the photos) to merge with the southbound lane of Highway 99 at the same time as the unmarked police vehicle struck the pedestrian.

"The IIO is asking for the driver of this vehicle and any potential occupants or other witnesses who may have seen, heard, or recorded the incident to contact the IIO Witness Line at 1-855-446-8477 or email info@iiobc.ca

"The IIO is an independent civilian oversight agency of the police in British Columbia. It investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death. It does not require any allegation of wrongdoing," the IIO spokesperson said.

A spokesman for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed they are aware of the collision.

He said in a statement released to Independent.ie: "The Department is aware of the case and is providing consular assistance."

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