A terrifying ordeal for an elderly woman passenger who was forced out of an SUV which Barrie police say was stolen by a man who approached the vehicle shortly after the driver entered a fast food restaurant on Bayfield Street near Coulter Street.
Police say they were alerted about the theft around 3:45 Wednesday afternoon.
The SUV was soon spotted by officers on Park Street. Despite activating their emergency lights, the vehicle sped away, and according to police, continued southbound on Toronto Street at a high rate of speed, ignoring the traffic signals. Police deactivated their lights due to the dangerous driving by the motorist and followed the vehicle at a safe distance.
Police say the SUV continued on Toronto Street and headed southbound where the driver failed to stop for a red light at Simcoe Street and struck the back of another vehicle. The SUV skidded across the centre median and came to a stop. The driver fled the scene but was nabbed a short distance away.
Lakeshore Drive between Toronto and Victoria Street was closed until 8:30 p.m. for the investigation.
A 27-year-old man of no fixed address has been charged with:
- Flight from police
- Dangerous operation of a motor vehicle
- Driving while prohibited
- Fail to comply with a release order
- Fail to comply with probation (3 counts)
The accused was held in custody and scheduled for a bail hearing on Thursday.
Police say neither the female passenger who was forced from the SUV and the driver of the other vehicle involved in the collision was seriously injured.