Pique has learned more about a police incident that closed a section of Highway 99 in Pemberton Monday evening, March 20.
According to witness Geoff Barnett, several vehicles were involved in an accident close to Airport Road—including a Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police truck—that reportedly led to a foot chase and two suspects in handcuffs.
As he was about to pass over the Lillooet River crossing, Barnett said he heard a police siren, before noticing in his mirror "a black car being chased by a Tribal Police truck at a high rate of speed. Then, I saw the traffic on the other side of the bridge begin to move, with the chase vehicles passing me at the red light heading towards them. Both chase vehicles slammed on their brakes just before hitting a white SUV. The black car hit the SUV first, then the Tribal Police truck hit it immediately after."
According to Barnett, the black car hit the SUV with such velocity that it then careened into a nearby dump truck, striking it head-on. That's when he noticed a police officer jump out of his vehicle and start running towards the black car. Although Barnett didn't see the suspects exit the black vehicle, unconfirmed reports online say at least one suspect was spotted fleeing on foot. "The cops returned with two people in handcuffs about 10 minutes later," Barnett said.
"It was the craziest thing I’ve seen in Pemberton," he added.
A Monday evening post on the Sea to Sky Driving Conditions Facebook page claimed a suspect had been apprehended. A section of Highway 99 was closed for several hours before reopening to single-lane alternating traffic on Monday night.
Although a spokesperson with Pemberton RCMP confirmed to Pique that the incident fell within the jurisdiction of the Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police, no other details of the incident have been provided. A voicemail left Monday evening at the Stl'atl'imx Tribal Police Mount Currie detachment had not been returned by press time.
Pique will have more on this incident if and when information becomes available.