Police allege fleeing driver fatally hit conservation officer in Saskatchewan

SASKATOON – A Saskatchewan conservation officer who stopped to help first responders deal with a highway crash has died after being hit by a vehicle that was allegedly fleeing police.

RCMP say two Saskatchewan conservation officers stopped to help control traffic following a two-vehicle collision on Highway 11 south of Saskatoon late Friday afternoon.

While they were still at the scene, police say they received a report of a black SUV that was driving erratically and heading north toward the crash scene.

Police say traffic was lined up along the highway, and when an RCMP officer approached a vehicle matching the description of the SUV, it sped off.

Police say it continued through the crash scene and hit Justin Knackstedt, 23, of Watson, Saskatchewan, who died at the scene.

Mounties chased the SUV, but say they didn’t catch it until it reached Saskatoon and rolled into a ditch.

Police say Blaine Thomas Taypotat, 35, of Saskatoon faces numerous charges in connection with the incident, including impaired driving causing death and flight from a police officer.

Taypotat remains in custody and is scheduled to appear in provincial court in Saskatoon on Monday.