This week the Columbia Valley RCMP responded to about 60 calls for service; last year that number was around 70. The following is a summary of a couple of the more interesting calls that the members responded to:
During the morning hours of Monday, October 23rd, Columbia RCMP were dispatched to two separate motor vehicle incidents caused by deer. The first was at about 4 a.m. in the Kootenay National Park. The driver had been driving toward Radium Hot Springs when a deer ran in front of the vehicle. As the driver attempted to swerve to avoid the deer she lost control of the vehicle and it went off the road to the right were it rolled onto its side. When police arrived the road conditions were wet and it was foggy in the area. Then, at about 8 a.m., RCMP received a report of another single vehicle incident near Edgewater. The driver called police when she struck a deer on the road. It was still very foggy; given the road conditions and little notice of an animal on the road, neither driver was charged. Deer are everywhere these days, a number of animals are getting hit on the highways every day. Best advice is to slow down in the fog and give yourself some time to react.
On Tuesday, October 24th at around 9 a.m., RCMP received a complaint of mischief to a vehicle that occurred overnight in Windermere. The complainant reported that someone had broken into the truck bed cover sometime overnight and taken a bag of garbage from the back. When RCMP arrived and viewed the damage it was apparent that a bear had broken the cover open to access a bag of garbage from the truck bed. There were fresh paw prints in the frost on the truck as well as some fur evident; further investigation revealed the missing garbage bag in the neighbour’s yard and it was ripped apart. The truck had damage to the tailgate and bed cover. In speaking with the complainant, he did not think that a bear would be able to break the cover to access the garbage; this is nothing compared to what I can do after a busy day with no lunch break.
Sticking with the bare facts, on Thursday, October 26th at about 2 a.m., Columbia Valley RCMP received notification of a bear stuck in a garbage bin in Fairmont Hot Springs. Onlookers reported that a bear cub had climbed into one of the garbage dumpsters and was stuck inside. RCMP attended and located the garbage bin in the main parking lot of a residential villa. A mother bear and another cub were nearby and eventually climbed an adjacent tree. There was one cub still stuck inside the insecure garbage bin. With some help, police located a small ladder and were able to place it inside of the garbage bin. The cub was able to use the ladder to escape the bin and be reunited with his mother.
RCMP were alerted to some vehicle prowling and a stolen vehicle in the Black Forest area near Invermere. On Friday, October 27th and Saturday, October 28th, RCMP received reports that a few vehicles had been searched by vandals. In each case, the doors were left unlocked overnight while parked in the driveways of homes. In a related instance, a small truck whose keys were accessible was taken. The owner described that he kept a spare set of keys somewhere that he believed no one would look. Unfortunately it appears someone did find the keys and then took it out of the jurisdiction.
On Saturday, October 28th, at approximately 10 p.m., RCMP were conducting a check stop in Invermere when a lone female driver was operating a small SUV and approached the stop. When confronted, the driver admitted to drinking a couple of beers and smelled of alcohol. The driver was requested to provide samples of her breath in an approved screening device and she complied. The driver provided two breath samples which both registered as a “FAIL”. Consequently, the driver was handed a 90 day driving prohibition and her vehicle was towed and impounded for 30 days.