RCMP say driver of truck in fatal P.E.I. head-on crash last December misidentified

CHARLOTTETOWN — Nearly six months after a head-on crash claimed four lives outside Charlottetown, police are now clarifying that a 30-year-old victim was actually the driver of one of the vehicles.

The RCMP initially identified the deceased man as a passenger in a pickup truck that collided with an oncoming car as the truck pulled into oncoming traffic while trying to pass another vehicle in the community of Marshfield, P.E.I., on Dec. 8.

A man and a woman, both 18, and a male youth in the car died from their injuries, while a teenage boy in the car was seriously injured — a 20-year-old man initially identified as the driver of the truck was also injured and was later arrested.

In a news release Friday, RCMP spokesman Cpl. Gavin Moore, said the crash was “extensively investigated” through traffic reconstruction, search warrants, production orders, lab analysis, and medical records.

The Mounties say that based on independent witness accounts and corroborating physical evidence, they now believe the evidence supports that the driver of the truck was the 30-year-old man who later died in hospital.

Police say their investigation also determined that alcohol was a factor in the crash.

The Mounties had been contemplating charges against the man initially thought to be the driver of the truck but none were ever laid, confirmed Scott Ferris, senior communications adviser for the RCMP on P.E.I.

Ferris said the initial confusion over who was driving the truck came from the surviving passenger of the vehicle.

“There were indications from the individual that he was driving, but the witness statements that we received and the rest of the evidence from the scene did corroborate that the individual was not actually driving,” he said, adding that police don’t know why he said he was the driver.

Ferris said RCMP are relieved to correct the record in a case that has also involved consultation with the families who were affected.

“This was a tragic circumstance that called for a detailed analysis, and it was the results of that detailed investigation that thankfully brought to light what happened,” said Ferris.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 24, 2024.

The Canadian Press