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Man convicted of hit-and-run that injured Abbotsford Police officer

RCMP member also injured in collision in Burnaby in March 2019
Investigators were on scene after two police officers were struck by a vehicle in Burnaby on March 4, 2019. (Shane MacKichan photo)

A 34-year-old man has been convicted of a 2019 hit-and-run collision that injured two police officers, including a Chilliwack man who is a member of the Abbotsford Police Department (APD).

Jason Kirupakaran was found guilty last Thursday (Jan .11) of two counts of criminal negligence causing bodily harm and two counts of failing to stop at an accident causing bodily harm.

Kirupakaran is back in court on Feb. 12 to set a date for his sentencing hearing.

The incident took place March 4, 2019 in the 5000 block of North Fraser Way in south Burnaby.

An APD officer and an RCMP officer – both with the Lower Mainland Integrated Police Dog Service – were standing outside a police vehicle that was pulled over to the side of the road when they were struck by the car being driven by Kirupakaran.

Prior to the crash, the vehicle had been reported as a possible drunk driver. An RCMP officer located the vehicle, but it sped into oncoming traffic, and officers did not pursue it.

The collision with the K9 officers occurred shortly afterward, and Kirupakaran left the scene.

Police announced the next day that they had located the Toyota Camry he had been driving. The car had been reported stolen to the New Westminster Police Department and was found abandoned several blocks from the crash scene.

The injured APD officer – Cpl. Aaron Courtney – was released from hospital the next day, while the RCMP member remained in hospital with serious injuries.

Charges against Kirupakaran were approved in August 2019.

At the time of the crash, Courtney, a Chilliwack resident, was a 15-year officer who had been with the dog services unit for 10 years.

In 2020, Courtney – and his partner Sgt. Jason Martens, along with their wives – started a business called Support Retired Legends to raise money for retired police dogs.

RELATED: Former Chilliwack K9 handler injured in hit-and-run now raising funds to help retired police dogs

They sell apparel and coffee with partial proceeds going to Ned’s Wish, a charity that helps pay for the medical bills of retired police and military dogs.

Courtney said his career as a dog handler came to a halt after the hit-and-run, but that he continued to do light-duty work with the APD.

The name of the RCMP officer injured in the hit-and-run has not been publicly released.

Burnaby RCMP’s officer in charge, Chief Supt. Graham de la Gorgendiere, said in a statement released Tuesday (Jan. 16) that several teams and officers “worked tirelessly” throughout the investigation.

He said that the conviction does not take away the pain and suffering that the two officers continue to experience.

“We hope this development will provide some measure of comfort as they continue to focus on their ongoing recovery and healing,” he said.

RELATED: Abbotsford police officer badly hurt after hit-and-run

RELATED: Abbotsford Police officer injured in hit-and-run now home recovering

Const. Aaron Courtney of the Abbotsford Police Department was one of two officers injured in a hit-and-run collision in Burnaby in March 2019. He later started a business which raises money for a charity that helps pay for the medical bills of retired service dogs. (Jenna Hauck/Black Press Media)