‘I thought I was going to die’: Manitoba woman says stolen SUV ripped through her backyard

A woman living in Elma, Manitoba, says she thought she was going to die after an SUV, later determined to be stolen, came tearing through her yard towards her home Tuesday night.

On Tuesday around 2:20 p.m., RCMP in Beausejour got a call about a suspicious person driving in the area. Mounties said the licence plate on the vehicle revealed it had been stolen from Winnipeg.

When an officer found the vehicle in a parking lot on Selch Street in Beausejour, they turned on the emergency lights and were about to get out of the cruiser. However, RCMP said the stolen vehicle reversed, slammed into the police cruiser, and then drove away.

The officer was not injured.

Officers in Lac Du Bonnet were told the stolen vehicle was heading their way, and set up a roadblock on Highway 15 in the RM of Whitemouth.

“The suspect vehicle stopped at the roadblock and officers spoke with the driver in an attempt to get him to turn off the vehicle and exit. However, he refused and fled,” RCMP said in a news release. “Officers anticipated this might occur and had already laid out a spike belt.”

RCMP said the vehicle drove over the spike belt and took off as Mounties continued to track it.

It was then that Bridget Barron, an area resident, told CTV News Winnipeg she had a harrowing experience. She had been in her home near Whitemouth River when she saw an SUV come tearing into her yard.

“All I saw was this SUV coming towards my window,” she said. “I thought I was going to die, because when I saw that SUV coming I thought, ‘That’s it, I’m dead.'”

The driver ended up veering away from Barron’s house through her backyard, losing car parts in the process, before coming to a stop on the riverbank behind her home.

“I ran to the back because I thought maybe somebody had a heart attack – that was my first reaction,” Barron said. “Then the police came and they just told me to go back inside and lock the doors.”

She said the entire area was locked down as multiple police units, including a helicopter, began searching the area. Mounties said with the help of a police service dog, a suspect was found hiding in a shed on a rural property.

“The suspect appeared to be suffering from an overdose,” Mounties said in a news release. “Officers administered Naloxone and performed first aid until Emergency Medical Services arrived.”

The suspect, a 26-year-old man from the RM of St. Clements, was taken to hospital and later released. He is now facing charges under the Highway Traffic Act, along with multiple criminal charges including possession of property obtained by crime, dangerous driving, failing or refusing to comply with a demand, operating a vehicle while impaired, and failure to comply with a release order.

The charges have not been proven in court.

RCMP said the investigation is ongoing. 

-with files from CTV’s Mason DePatie and Kayla Rosen

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