Serious Incident Response Team

A collision in River John that claimed the life of a 50-year-old man on Dec. 16 has been referred to the province’s Serious Incident Response Team (SiRT).

The Pictou District RCMP contacted SiRT on Dec. 17, concerning the death of the man who was the driver and sole occupant of a vehicle involved in a two-vehicle collision in the early evening the night before on the West Branch Road, also known as River John Station Road.

According to a press release issued by the RCMP, the man was driving a small black car, which collided head-on with a small brown car containing three adults and a child. Three occupants of the brown car were not injured, while one female suffered a serious non life-threatening injury.

Along with RCMP, members of the River John Fire Department attended the scene, as did paramedics with Emergency Health Services.

The man required medical treatment and, while being assessed in the ambulance for his injuries, was placed under arrest as part of an impaired driving investigation. He became agitated and later handcuffed. Shortly after that, the man collapsed and was pronounced dead despite prolonged attempts to revive him.

As a result of the individual being placed under arrest, the matter was referred to SiRT which has assumed responsibility for the investigation.

SiRT is responsible for investigating all serious incidents involving police in Nova Scotia, which includes all allegations of domestic violence. Investigations are under the direction and control of independent civilian Interim Director John Scott.

The team can independently begin an investigation after a referral from a chief of police, the head of the RCMP in Nova Scotia, or the Minister of Justice. It can also investigate after a complaint from the public.

The Police Act requires the director to file a public report summarizing the result of the investigation within three months after it is finished.