Man, 19, charged in police chase, Hwy. 417 crash
A 19-year-old Ottawa man is facing 13 charges following a brief police pursuit and collision that closed Highway 417 westbound for more than eight hours on Tuesday.
Police charged Kevin Joanisse with various offences on Wednesday, including flight from a police officer, driving 180 kilometres per hour in a posted 100-kilometre zone, criminal negligence causing bodily harm, driving while suspended and operating a vehicle without insurance.
The charges were laid after an Ontario Provincial Police officer spotted the driver of a 1997 grey Chrysler Cirrus driving erratically on the Queensway near Moodie Drive at about 2:45 p.m.
Police say the officer pursued the driver, who lost control of his vehicle and hit a minivan that flipped into a ditch near Eagleson Road.
The driver stopped his car in the median and fled on foot across the eastbound lanes, jumping a nearby fence, according to witnesses.
"He was stunned, he frantically ran across the eastbound lanes, directly in front of me, with no regard for oncoming traffic," said Jamie Kingsbury in an e-mail to CTV Ottawa.
Police managed to apprehend the suspect on Katimavik Road with the help of the public.
"The public was very helpful in pointing the officers in the right direction as to where the suspect was running at the time because he was going through backyards and public areas," said Const. Guy Prevost.
Highway closed for hours
The crash backed up traffic on the westbound lanes of the Queensway for hours, sending commuters on a detour at the Eagleson Road exit.
The female driver of the van was extricated from her vehicle after being trapped upside down in a ditch for about 40 minutes. She was transported to the Queensway Carleton Hospital with minor injuries.
"Very lucky that nobody suffered any major injuries as a result of this," said Prevost.
The stunt driving law in Ontario has been in effect since September 2007, covering eight violations from tailgating to street racing. The most common offence is speeding more than 50 kilometres per hour over the speed limit.
In less than three years, police have laid 17,000 stunt driving suspensions across the province.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Karen Soloman and John Hua