Driver blows stop sign, crashes into ditch

A 21-year-old Stettler County man is likely regretting his decision to get behind the wheel of his Dodge pick-up truck.

A 21-year-old Stettler County man is likely regretting his decision to get behind the wheel of his Dodge pick-up truck in the early morning hours of July 25.

Around 3 a.m. that day, it is alleged the driver drove through the stop sign near Points West and, when signalled by police to pull over, decided to keep driving at a “high rate of speed,” according to Stettler RCMP Cpl. Ryan Koehli.

Koehli said the accused, within a short period of time, lost control of the truck and ended up in a ditch, where constables arrested him.

The man refused to give a breath sample and was therefore taken back to the station and charged with a count of refusal to give breath sample and impaired driving. In addition to those charges, he is also facing a charge each of flight from police and dangerous driving.

Big Valley bruhaha

The RCMP were in Big Valley on Thursday, July 23, after receiving multiple tips about Victor Foley, who was wanted on multiple outstanding warrants, relating mostly to property crimes.

According to Koehli, police attended a residence in the Big Valley area where Foley was apprehended.

In addition to the outstanding charges, Foley will also now be facing an obstruction of justice charge for his actions at the residence, though Koehli did not elaborate.

A 34-year-old man also at the residence is also facing an obstruction charge, as is the 51-year-old owner of the home, as she allegedly lied to police when they asked if Foley was present.

“We received several calls about (Foley),” Koehli said.

The RCMP said they appreciate the assistance from the residents of Big Valley who helped them locate and arrest Foley.

Koehli joins Stettler RCMP family

Ryan Koehli joins the Stettler RCMP detachment as a new Corporal, having previously been stationed in Ponoka.

“I’m looking forward to getting involved (in the community),” Koehli said. “I’ve always coached minor hockey, I’m on the Bar Harbour Camp board, and this is something I love.”

Koehli has been in the RCMP now for roughly a decade, serving as a Constable in Beaverlodge, Grande Prairie and then Ponoka. And while many RCMP officers end up shuffled far from their roots, Koehli is an Alberta Prairie boy through-and-through, having lived his entire life in the province.

“I’ve lived in the Stettler area before,” Koehli said. “So I’m familiar with the area. The opportunity to work in this area” was one he didn’t want to pass up, he noted.

Koehli explained that there’s a lot of positives in Stettler – a lot of “forward thinking” and recreational options, which are appealing.

The RCMP wasn’t Koehli’s first choice of career – originally, he wanted to be a teacher. And while he went to school, he worked in the province’s provincial parks.

“I went to the University of Alberta,” he said. While he graduated, he never ended up going into the teaching program after his graduation, instead being swayed to a new career by a bunch of friends applying to join the RCMP.

Koehli said he applied, half expecting to not get in. When he did, it changed his life.

Since then, Koehli’s worked in schools as a School Resource Officer, a role currently held in Stettler by Const. Bill Lewadniuk, who departs in September to the Red Deer detachment, where he’ll specialize in fraud investigations.