Wednesday April 16, 2014





Couple says they're on the hook for RCMP crash

File photo

A police vehicle rests against a townhome at 978 Jasper Avenue while in pursuit of a drunk driver. The tenants of the townhouse say they have been left out in the cold in a battle with the RCMP's insurance company.

A couple put out of their house after an RCMP truck crashed through their front door say they've been stuck with the bill as they wait for the damage to be fixed.

"We've been caught between a rock and a hard place," Wayne Sjodin told The Daily News Friday.

The Sjodins were not at home Dec. 7 around 8:30 p.m., when an RCMP SUV was chasing after a suspected impaired driver on Jasper Avenue.

The roads were icy and the RCMP vehicle slid out of control and through the front door of the Sjodins' condominium unit. The couple has rented the unit for years.

The vehicle did significant damage to the house, rendering it unlivable. Sjodin said he and his wife Carla spent a couple of weeks with family but are now at the Holiday Inn.

Repairs have not been started, he said, and he and his wife are running out of funds. He said they do not have their own insurance.

Sjodin said he was put in touch with the RCMP's insurance company, which has agreed to pay for damage to their belongings.

He cannot get the company to offer any funds for their living expenses while they are unable to return to their home, he said.

"I asked (the insurance company) who would be taking account for this while we would have to live out. They said they were only handling the damaged goods," Sjodin said.

"Nobody wants to do anything. Everybody is playing dodgeball."

Kamloops RCMP detachment commander Insp. Yves Lacasse said he was not aware of the Sjodins' situation. He said the RCMP's insurance company, a Kelowna firm, has been handling the claim since shortly after the crash.

"The RCMP has an insurance company. We have provided the company all the information and now it is in their hands," Lacasse said.

"Absolutely it's unfortunate. There is a police car involved . . . which ended up sliding into a house. It's truly unfortunate they have been put out."

Representatives from the RCMP's insurance company could not be reached.

Sjodin said he and his wife want back in to their house as soon as possible but until then, they want help with their living expenses. A lawyer told them they could sue the RCMP in small claims court for those expenses but that would take months.

"The RCMP vehicle took out our kitchen," he said. "They have fixed . . . the RCMP vehicle. I don't know what is going on, but we are stuck in a hotel.

"We're left out in the cold."


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