Update (Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022, at 1:55 p.m.):
The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) have now confirmed that one suspect is in custody following a string of hit-and-run collisions in Napanee on the morning of Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.
“A vehicle fled from police and struck some vehicles in the downtown area of Napanee,” said Const. Brianna Raison, Media Relations Officer for the Lennox and Addington (L&A) OPP. Raison noted that no injuries sustained during the incidents.
“The investigation is on-going so further information will be provided at a later time,” she said.
The OPP did not say whether other suspects are being sought in connection with the incidents.
Kingstonist will provide updates if/when more information becomes available.
Dozens of people in Napanee are on high alert this morning after at least two vehicles were involved in multiple hit-and-run collisions, including those with parked vehicles in the central core of the town.
According to eyewitnesses, the incidents started just after 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022.
“I was exiting the BMO parking lot. I turned north onto Centre Street. The light was red, and I wanted to turn right onto Dundas Street, so I looked both ways, and was getting ready to move through the intersection when I heard honking and squealing tires,” relayed Bill Forestell, who witnessed parts of the events.
“And then when I looked north, there was a red Jeep, like, in my lane, so headed the wrong way, headed towards me, and then it approached the intersection going incredibly fast and attempted to turn left, trying to head east,” Forestell continued, the shock of the events evident in his voice.
“He was going way too fast and his entire vehicle, as he went through the intersection, it spun and then turned completely around and ended up smashing into…like, a grey Dodge minivan… it hit, like, parallel and ended up facing west on Centre Street,” he said.
“Needless to say, I couldn’t make my right turn.”
Forestell, like many other eyewitnesses, said that someone exited the red Jeep and fled on foot. He also said that people in the street were saying that the suspect was driving a stolen vehicle.
While the Lennox and Addington (L&A) Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) would not confirm whether suspects fled from the scene recounted by Forestell, or the other collisions that reportedly occurred in the area. Witnesses stated the red Jeep had been seen driving erratically on Highway 401, Bridge Street, Dundas Street, and Thomas Street, besides the final collision on Centre Street. Police, the Greater Napanee Fire Services, and paramedics were all on scene within minutes.
Const. Brianna Raison, Media Relations Officer for the L&A OPP, confirmed that police are actively investigating, and stated that the incidents are “an active situation in the area.”
“Just a reminder to give the officers room to conduct their investigation,” she said, specifying that the situation seems centralized to the Centre Street North/Dundas Street East intersection and area.
While eyewitnesses reported that one male was arrested following the collision at that intersection, Raison could not confirm that arrest in the preliminary stages of the ongoing investigation.
It appears that police are actively patrolling in the Town of Greater Napanee, as well as along Highway 401 and Highway 2. The situation remains ongoing, and the OPP are expected to provide updates in the coming hours.
Please avoid the area of downtown Napanee and remember to slow down and move over for emergency and police vehicles as the situation continues.
This is a developing story. Kingstonist will provide more details as information becomes available.
In the interest of full disclosure, eyewitness Bill Forestell is related to one of the reporters working with Kingstonist.