Driver of car that crashed into Saanich home this morning arrested again

A Jaguar crashed through the bottom floor of the Gysbers family home around 2 a.m. Thursday morning, leaving a gaping hole and plenty of debris. Saanich police suspect the driver of the car was intoxicated. - Kyle Slavin/News staff
A Jaguar crashed through the bottom floor of the Gysbers family home around 2 a.m. Thursday morning, leaving a gaping hole and plenty of debris. Saanich police suspect the driver of the car was intoxicated.
— image credit: Kyle Slavin/News staff

It felt like, looked like and sounded like an earthquake to Samantha Gysbers – and then she heard the swing music.

The driver of the car that crashed through the bottom floor of the her Carey Road home at 2 a.m. was blasting '40s jazz on the stereo, and he left it on when he fled.

"The music added this extra level of horror movie-ness to it," Gysbers said.

Asleep in the basement was a young couple who were woken up by the Jaguar coming through the bedroom wall and pushing their bed across the room.

Police say the car was travelling north on Tillicum Road toward Carey Road and missed the turn, clipping a fence, striking a parked car and then crashing through the front of the home.

Nobody inside the house was injured.

The driver of the Jaguar fled on foot, but was located by police a few blocks away and arrested. He was suffering from non-life threatening head injuries.

Saanich police Sgt. Scott Treble says the 51-year-old driver had been drinking. Police are now considering charges of impaired driving and failing to remain at the scene. He was subsequently released.

The driver was arrested a second time at 10 a.m. after police were called to the Broadmead area by a someone who saw the driver get into a driver's seat of Dodge Caravan with a beer in his hand.

The vehicle was stopped in the 3500-block of Blanshard St. and officers quickly recognized the driver as the same man arrested for the Jaguar crash.

The 51-year-old was ticketed for not having a driver's licence and failing to wear a seatbelt. He was issued another 24-hour suspension, and that vehicle was impounded.

He was arrested for driving while prohibited, as a result of the morning crash, and faces charges.

Sgt. Dean Jantzen said he won't be charged for impaired driving in his second arrest, because police don't have the evidence that indicates the man was impaired, even though he failed a breathalyzer test around 10

"You've gotta have something else than just a breath test to charge someone with impaired," Jantzen said. "To charge (with impaired) under the criminal code, there has to be another nugget – bad driving, odour of alcohol, you saw him drinking, near collision.

"Our officers did enter into a second impaired driving investigation, but felt the most appropriate course of action was charges under the Motor Vehicle Act the second time around."

As of Thursday afternoon, he remained in police custody sobering up.

Neither the Jaguar or the van belong to the driver, but both are registered to the same person.

The Jaguar was pulled from the Gysbers' home around 5 a.m., and all that remains is a large hole in the corner of the house. The car came to a stop in a storage closet at the front of the house.

Shattered glass, parts of the car, even the licence plate, sat strewn on the front lawn late Thursday morning.

"Hey, it's going to get facelift now," Gysbers said optimistically about her home. "At least nobody inside was hurt. That's the main thing."

Amid the large pile of wood, broken guttering and insulation, Gysbers kicks a couple items aside in search of one particular item still yet to be recovered from the whole mess.

"We'd like to find the Jaguar hood ornament and hold on to that."

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