Man jailed following dangerous police chase
Driver ditches stolen truck, flees into bush and then tries to swim away from the RCMP
After being spotted in a stolen vehicle last week by staff at the Okanagan Correctional Centre and triggering a dangerous police chase, the driver is going back to jail – as an inmate.
Gregory Angus Montague, 37, pleaded guilty to theft over $5,000, dangerous driving and failing to stop for police, and was sentenced July 26 to one year behind bars and a three-year driving prohibition.
Police say they began tracking Montague around 6 p.m. on July 25 when a woman reported her truck had been stolen from the Penticton Walmart parking lot.
The truck showed up less than an hour later at OCC, where Montague arrived to drop off an item for an inmate.
Jail staff called the RCMP, who caught up with the truck heading northbound on Highway 97 near Vaseux Lake. A spike belt was deployed close by at Weyerhaeuser road and blew out three of the truck’s tires.
Montague “did not stop for police after driving over the spike belt and continued to drive another 2.6 kilometres through residential streets in Okanagan Falls and on Highway 97,” RCMP spokesman Cpl. Dan Moskaluk said in a press release.
“The truck came within several feet of hitting a fire hydrant and a commercial building, ran two stop signs, almost struck pedestrians and forced one vehicle on the highway to swerve around it.”
Montague ditched the truck just north of Okanagan Falls and fled into the bush on the west side of the highway. Officers spotted him again about 10 minutes later running into Okanagan Lake on the east side of the highway. After a 20-minute swim, Montague was arrested.
A search of the truck turned up documents in Montague’s name, a small amount of methamphetamine, an open bottle of booze and multiple pairs of pliers.
Court records show Montague had been sentenced to 55 days in jail on June 19 for breaching a court order. It’s unclear how he was released in time to commit the new offences.