SIU Director’s Report - Case # 20-PVI-310
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation. If, after an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the officer. Alternatively, in all cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director does not lay criminal charges but files a report with the Attorney General communicating the results of an investigation.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”)Pursuant to section 14 of FIPPA (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information whose release could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- Subject Officer name(s);
- Witness Officer name(s);
- Civilian Witness name(s);
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Pursuant to PHIPA, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”)
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may have also been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
“Serious injuries” shall include those that are likely to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim and are more than merely transient or trifling in nature and will include serious injury resulting from sexual assault. “Serious Injury” shall initially be presumed when the victim is admitted to hospital, suffers a fracture to a limb, rib or vertebrae or to the skull, suffers burns to a major portion of the body or loses any portion of the body or suffers loss of vision or hearing, or alleges sexual assault. Where a prolonged delay is likely before the seriousness of the injury can be assessed, the Unit should be notified so that it can monitor the situation and decide on the extent of its involvement.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into serious injuries sustained by a 30-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn November 17, 2020 at 9:30 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) notified the SIU of the Complainant’s injury.
The OPP advised that on November 17, 2020, at 5:30 p.m., the Subject Officer (SO) was driving in the area of County Road 9 and York Road (Village of York) when an oncoming vehicle [now determined to be driven by the Complainant] approached and collided with his cruiser, head on.
Both the Complainant and the SO were taken to Hamilton General Hospital. The Complainant was diagnosed with a fractured leg, while the SO was diagnosed with a cracked sternum and facial injuries.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Complainant:30-year-old male, not interviewed (declined)
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
WO #3 Interviewed
WO #4 Interviewed
WO #5 Interviewed
WO #6 Interviewed
WO #7 Interviewed
Subject OfficersSO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right
The SceneThe scene was Haldimand Road 9 which travelled primarily in a north and south direction. While travelling south from the intersection at York Road the roadway curved to the left. The roadway surface for Haldimand Road 9 was paved, dry (at the time of examination) and in good repair with a double yellow line separating the two lanes. Road markings were visible and in good repair. There was no streetlighting in the immediate area of the collision scene. It was a rural area with very few homes or buildings. The roads were dry but there was a fresh dusting of snow in the fields.
There were two vehicles involved in this collision both with heavy front-end damage. There was a red GMC pickup truck on its roof with the driver’s side of the vehicle against the driver’s side of an OPP police cruiser. The OPP police cruiser was a black and white Ford Taurus. Both vehicles were on the shoulder facing in an easterly direction:
Vehicle 1 was a GMC Sierra truck. The truck was inverted onto its roof and orientated in a northeasterly direction along the east road edge of Haldimand Road 9. There was heavy front-end collision damage along with collision damage due to the roll over.
Figure 1 - The Complainant's GMC truck.
Vehicle 2 was a Ford Taurus Interceptor police cruiser. It was a marked police cruiser displaying graphics as designed by the OPP. Emergency lighting and siren were installed on the vehicle but found to be inoperable due to the heavy damage. The cruiser was orientated in a northeasterly direction at the east road edge of Haldimand Road 9 directly beside vehicle 1. There was heavy front-end collision damage to this vehicle.
Figure 2 - The SO's cruiser.
Global Positioning Data (GPS) Data from the SO’s Police Cruiser
At 5:19:08 p.m., the OPP unit [now determined to be driven by the SO] was travelling northbound on Haldimand Road 9 at an indicated speed of 64 km/h.
At 5:19:10 p.m., the SO continued travelling northbound on Haldimand Road 9 at a speed of 66 km/h.
At 5:19:12 p.m., the SO continued northbound on Haldimand Road 9 doing 68 km/h.
At 5:19:14 p.m., the SO remained northbound on Haldimand Road 9 doing 68 km/h.
At 5:19:16 p.m., the SO drove northbound on Haldimand Road 9 doing 63 km/h.
At 5:19:18 p.m., the SO continued northbound on Haldimand Road 9 doing 60 km/h.
At 5:19:20 p.m., the SO remained northbound on Haldimand Road 9 at 55 km/h.
At 5:19:22 p.m., the SO police cruiser reported a speed of 0 km/h on Haldimand Road 9 indicating the cruiser was stopped suddenly, suggesting it was involved in a collision.
Not once did the SO deviate from his northbound course nor did the police officer increase his speed beyond 68 km/h in a posted speed limit of 80 km/h zone.
Communications RecordingsThese recordings were made on November 17, 2020 and were unremarkable since they did not address how or why the collision occurred. The recordings begin at 5:27:44 p.m., roughly eight minutes after the collision between the police cruiser and the GMC Sierra truck took place.
Materials obtained from Police ServiceThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the OPP:
- Computer-assisted Dispatch Event Details;
- Communications Recordings;
- Certificate of a Qualified Technician and Breathalyzer Results;
- Certificate of Analyst;
- General Report;
- GPS / AVL (Automatic Vehicle Locator) Data for the SO’s cruiser;
- Maintenance Records for Cruiser;
- Motor Vehicle Collision Report;
- Notes of Witness Officer WO #1, WO #2, WO #4, WO #5, WO #6 and WO #7
- OPP Interview Reports-CW #1, CW #3, CW #4 and CW #5;
- OPP Total Station Records; and
- Victim Reports of the Complainant and the SO.
Materials obtained from Other SourcesNo Information from non-police sources was obtained.
At about the same time, the Complainant was operating a pickup truck southwest on Haldimand Road 9. The evidence indicates that the Complainant was driving erratically and above the posted speed limit. At a bend in the road some distance west of York Road, the Complainant overtook the vehicle ahead of him via the opposing lane of traffic. Returning into his lane and swerving onto the shoulder, the Complainant overcorrected and began to lose control of his vehicle. The pickup truck proceeded into the opposing lane where it struck the SO’s cruiser head-on.
The collision resulted in significant front-end damage to both vehicles. The Complainant’s truck toppled over and came to rest adjacent to the police cruiser, both vehicles on the east shoulder and ditch. With the arrival of other officers, paramedics and firefighters, the Complainant and the SO were removed from their vehicles and taken to hospital.
The Complainant suffered a fractured right leg in the collision. The SO reportedly sustained a cracked sternum.
The Complainant was subsequently charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle.
Analysis and Director's Decision
On the record gathered by the SIU, it is plain and obvious that the SO did nothing to cause or contribute to the collision other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. In contrast to the Complainant, he was driving carefully at speeds well below the speed limit when he was suddenly confronted by a pickup truck barreling in his direction. Accordingly, there are no grounds to proceed with criminal charges in this case against the officer, and the file is closed.
Date: February 16, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.