SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-OVI-008
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the SIU Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether there are reasonable grounds to believe that a criminal offence was committed. If such grounds exist, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the official. Alternatively, in cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director cannot lay charges. Where no charges are laid, a report of the investigation is prepared and released publicly, except in the case of reports dealing with allegations of sexual assault, in which case the SIU Director may consult with the affected person and exercise a discretion to not publicly release the report having regard to the affected person’s privacy interests.
Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019Pursuant to section 34, certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The name of, and any information identifying, a subject official, witness official, civilian witness or affected person.
- Information that may result in the identity of a person who reported that they were sexually assaulted being revealed in connection with the sexual assault.
- Information that, in the opinion of the SIU Director, could lead to a risk of serious harm to a person.
- Information that discloses investigative techniques or procedures.
- Information, the release of which is prohibited or restricted by law.
- Information in which a person’s privacy interest in not having the information published clearly outweighs the public interest in having the information published.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy ActPursuant to section14 (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 that could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
Pursuant to section 21 (i.e., personal privacy), protected personal information is not included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- The names of persons, including civilian witnesses, and subject and witness officials;
- 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.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004Pursuant to this legislation, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Other proceedings, processes, and investigations
Information may also have 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.
A person sustains a “serious injury” for purposes of the SIU’s jurisdiction if they: sustain an injury as a result of which they are admitted to hospital; suffer a fracture to the skull, or to a limb, rib or vertebra; suffer burns to a significant proportion of their body; lose any portion of their body; or, as a result of an injury, experience a loss of vision or hearing.
In addition, a “serious injury” means any other injury sustained by a person that is likely to interfere with the person’s health or comfort and is not transient or trifling in nature.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into a serious injury sustained by a 21-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn January 5, 2021, at 3:25 p.m., the Peel Regional Police (PRP) reported the following:
On January 5, 2021, at 9:25 a.m., a police officer doing radar clocked a vehicle westbound on Mayfield Road at 156 km/h. The police officer pulled out to follow and stopped after about one kilometre. The vehicle continued on and struck a civilian vehicle at McLaughlin Road, then rolled. The driver, the Complainant, was taken to Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre (SBHSC). His injury was said to be a ruptured stoma. He reportedly had a colostomy from a previous stabbing.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 01/05/2021 at 4:35 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 01/05/2021 at 6:20 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 2
Number of SIU Collision Reconstructionists assigned: 1
SIU Forensic Investigators completed a scene examination, took photographs and video of the scene, and measured it with a Total Station device for forensic mapping purposes. The route was video recorded. The SIU Reconstructionist analyzed the event.
Affected Person (aka “Complainant”):21-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The Complainant was interviewed on January 6, 2021.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
CW #4 Interviewed
CW #5 Interviewed
CW #6 Interviewed
The CWs were interviewed between January 5, 2021, and January 11, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The SO was interviewed on February 5, 2021.
Witness OfficialsWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
The WOs were interviewed on January 7, 2021.
The Scene Mayfield Road is a paved east-west roadway with one lane in each direction in the area of the collision. It is straight and level, in good repair and the road markings are visible. The road is a 70 km/h zone to the east of its intersection with McLaughlin Road, and an 80 km/h zone to the west. A vehicle traveling west on Mayfield Road would increase speed after it passed through the intersection. The area on both sides of the road are under construction with vacant land present and road infrastructure beginnings.
McLaughlin Road runs in a general north-south direction. There is one lane in each direction in the area of the collision and it is paved with lane markings present. When proceeding north, there is a marked right turn lane onto Mayfield Road. The speed limit north of the intersection is 80 km/h and the speed limit south of the intersection is 50 km/h. The intersection is controlled by traffic lights. There are left turning lanes at the intersection for north, east and west traffic. There are stop lines at each portion of the intersection. Also, the intersection of Mayfield and McLaughlin Roads is controlled with overhead streetlights.
Figure 1 - The scene at McLaughlin and Mayfield Roads.
There were gouge marks visible on the roadway within the intersection. Vehicle debris and fluid trails were also located in a southwest direction from the gouge marks.
Figure 2 - The gouge mark in the intersection.
A white Mercedes Sprinter Van 2500 was stopped in the eastbound lane, just beyond the stop line for eastbound traffic on Mayfield Road. This vehicle had minor damage to the front end. There was a radiator on the roadway north of this vehicle. The front bumper and licence plate of a Hyundai Elantra was on the roadway behind the van.
Figure 3 - Damage to the front of the Mercedes Sprinter van.
A black 2009 Honda Accord had damage to the front end. This vehicle was orientated in a southeast direction in the field on the southwest quadrant of the intersection. The vehicle had extensive front left collision damage. Both the driver’s front and side airbags had deployed. The markings in the field and roadway indicated the vehicle was being operated in a southerly direction on McLaughlin Road, when it was involved in a collision with a westbound vehicle within the intersection. The driver’s seatbelt was extended indicating it was in use at the time of the collision.
Figure 4 - The black Honda Accord with extensive front-end damage.
A white 2016 Hyundai Elantra came to rest on its side in the field southwest of the intersection. It had traveled approximately 40 metres into the field and had extensive overall damage. The vehicle had front right, right side and right rear collision damage. The front windshield was smashed out. The keys to the vehicle were on the interior of the right front door. The driver’s seatbelt was extended indicating that it was in use at the time of the collision. The markings in the field and roadway indicated the vehicle was being operated in a westerly direction on Mayfield Road, when it was involved in a collision with a southbound vehicle. The vehicle continued in a southwest direction striking the right front of the Sprinter van. The vehicle continued striking a hydro pole on the south side of Mayfield Road, continuing into the vacant field striking a fence and overturning before coming to a rest.
Figure 5 - The Hyundai Elantra situated on its side in the field.
The PRP vehicle was a Ford F150 pickup truck. It did not have the graphic design of a PRP vehicle, but it had emergency lighting. This vehicle was undamaged. It was stopped in a southerly direction in the southbound lane of McLaughlin Road and south of the intersection.
Figure 6 - The undamaged PRP Ford 150.
The vehicle was not running and was locked. On obtaining the keys to the vehicle and turning the ignition to the on position, the vehicle’s emergency lighting came on. The lights were both photographed, and a separate video was taken of the lighting equipment. The police vehicle was equipped with a siren with multiple settings that all functioned as designed. The vehicle also had a functioning horn.
There was a gouge mark in the intersection and a fluid trail that led in a southwest direction towards where the Honda and Hyundai vehicles came to rest.
Pursuit RouteThe video recording produced by the SIU begins in the area of Mayfield and Kennedy Roads proceeding in a westerly direction on Mayfield Road. There are two lanes in each direction. There are residences on the north side and vacant land on the south side. The posted speed limit is 60 km/h. There is a slight decline in the roadway to the intersection with Snellview Boulevard, which is controlled with overhead streetlights. There is a bridge at the valley of the decline with Valleyview Road on the south side of the roadway and west of the bridge. There is an unobstructed view of traffic on Mayfield Road from the intersection with Valleyview Road.
Continuing west, Mayfield Road starts to go up an incline in the roadway. The speed is still 60 km/h. The intersection with Summer Valley Drive is controlled with overhead streetlights. The businesses are on the north side of the road and residences on the south side. Continuing west is the intersection with Colonel Bertram Road with businesses on both sides of the roadway. Further west is the intersection with Hurontario Road with two-left turn lanes, two-westbound lanes and one-right turn lane. There are Petro Canada gas stations in the northeast and southwest quadrants of the intersection. A Tim Hortons is in the southeast quadrant and residences are in the northwest corner. Continuing west through the intersection, the roadway narrows to one westbound lane. The speed limit is still posted at 60 km/h.
Forensic Evidence On January 13, 2021, at 1:43 p.m., the PRP provided the Automatic Vehicle locator data for the police cruiser operated by the SO.
The following is a summary of the data.:
- 8:42:45 a.m. - The cruiser was stopped at Valleyview Road;
- 9:23:37 a.m. - The cruiser was westbound on Mayfield Road at 82 km/h in a 60 km/h zone with speed increasing;
- 9:24:19 a.m. - The cruiser was westbound on Mayfield Road approaching Robertson Davies Drive at 124 km/h in 80 km/h zone (976 metres west of Valleyview Road), thereafter slowing; and
- 9:26:45 a.m. - The cruiser was stopped at McLaughlin Road.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence On January 13, 2021, at 1:43 p.m., the PRP provided communications recordings of relevance, as set out below:
Summary of telephone conversations
- 9:26:52 a.m. The PRP communicator called the ambulance dispatch requesting they attend at Mayfield Road at McLaughlin Road in relation to a motor vehicle collision. The police communicator indicated that a police officer [now known to be the SO] had come upon two vehicles in a ditch. The communicator did not know if there was more than one patient but said that the person was unconscious and the SO was asking for a rush on the ambulance; and
- 9:29:31 a.m. The PRP communicator called the OPP requesting assistance. The SO was having difficulty getting the driver [now known to be the Complainant] out of the vehicle, and the Complainant was conscious and breathing.
Summary of communications recordings
The SIU searched for video records of relevance, as set out below:
- 9:24:51 a.m. – the SO radioed the dispatcher advising of a collision at McLaughlin Road and Mayfield Road. He asked for an ambulance and other units to block off the road. WO #2 and WO #1 indicated they would respond. The SO asked for a sergeant to attend;
- 9:26:45 a.m. - the SO said two vehicles were involved, both were in the ditch. He needed emergency (fire and ambulance) immediately, and indicated that a male was still in the vehicle and not moving at all;
- 9:28:03 a.m. - the SO said he was having difficulty getting the male [now known to be the Complainant] out of the car;
- 9:30:10 a.m. - 9:31:23 a.m. - the SO indicated that the Complainant was moving and breathing. WO #2 noted the Complainant was conscious and breathing;
- 9:34:47 a.m. - The driver of the other vehicle [now known to be CW #2] was complaining of minor chest pain;
- 9:39:55 a.m. - the Complainant had been extracted from the vehicle;
- 9:58:10 a.m.-10:01:31 a.m. – a police unit would be following the ambulance [believed to be with CW #2] to Brampton Civic Hospital (BCH). An officer would be riding in the ambulance to BCH (with the Complainant); and
- 10:45:42 a.m.-10:47:06 a.m. – WO #1 asked the dispatcher to query a marker and Vehicle Identification Number [VIN]. The dispatcher said the VIN came back to a stolen vehicle, a Hyundai Elantra, 2017, white in colour.
Summary of Plaza’s Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV)On January 14, 2021, the SIU received CCTV footage from January 5, 2021, between 9:20 a.m. and 9:24:36 a.m. There were several CCTV cameras around the plaza’s exterior, two of which faced south towards Mayfield Road. Camera two was located at the east end of the plaza looking southwest. Camera three was situated in the middle of the plaza looking southeast. Both cameras captured the traffic flow on Mayfield Road.
Camera Two had a view of the east end ‘entrance only’ driveway from westbound Mayfield Road, and looked to the west:
- 9:23:26 a.m. - A white compact car [now known to be driven by the Complainant] entered the camera’s view westbound in the curb lane of Mayfield Road at the entrance to the plaza and continued west;
- 9:23:33 a.m. - the Complainant’s vehicle left the camera’s view at the extreme west end of the plaza. At the same time a black pickup truck entered the camera’s view as it began to cross the plaza entrance, westbound on Mayfield Road [now known to be driven by the SO]; and
- 9:23:38 a.m. - the SO’s police vehicle left the camera’s view at the extreme west end of the plaza.
- 9:23:23 a.m. - the Complainant’s vehicle was traveling west on Mayfield Road in the curb lane as it crossed the intersection of Summer Valley Drive;
- 9:23:27 a.m. - the Complainant’s vehicle left the camera’s view approximately midway across the front of the plaza;
- 9:23:30 a.m. - the SO’s black police pickup truck entered the camera’s view as it crossed the intersection of Summer Valley Drive, traveling west in the curb lane of Mayfield Road; and
- 9:23:34 a.m. - the SO’s police vehicle left the camera’s view approximately midway across the front of the plaza. The emergency lights were not flashing at the front of the SO’s police vehicle. The colour of the traffic lights for Mayfield Road at Summer Valley Drive was indeterminable.
Summary of Store’s CCTVThe store was in a strip plaza at Mayfield Road, just east of Hurontario Street. A CCTV camera at the front of the store looked southwest and captured the vehicular traffic on Mayfield Road. On January 14, 2021, the SIU obtained CCTV footage from January 5, 2021, between 9:20 a.m. and 9:22:48 a.m. The images captured on the CCTV were somewhat out of focus:
- 9:22:18 a.m. - A sedan [believed to be the Hyundai vehicle driven by the Complainant] travelled westbound on Mayfield Road at a speed greater than the other vehicles traveling west on Mayfield Road. It left the camera’s view at 9:22:21 a.m.; and
- 9:22:25 a.m. - A black pickup truck with a cap on the back [believed to be the police vehicle driven by the SO] was seen traveling westbound on Mayfield Road at a similar speed to the white sedan. It left the camera’s view at 9:22:28 a.m. A blue light could be seen at the rear of the pickup truck indicative of police emergency lights.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the PRP between January 7, 2021, and January 13, 2021:
- Notes of SO and WOs;
- Person Details – the Complainant;
- Occurrence Details (x2);
- Communications Audio Report-Phone;
- Communication Audio Report--Radio;
- PRP Crash Data Recorder (CDR)-2017 Hyundai Elantra;
- PRP CDR-Cruiser (Black Box download);
- GPS Data; and
- Suspect Apprehension Pursuit Policy.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from other sources:
- Ambulance Call Reports – Peel EMS;
- Medical Record-SBHSC;
- Fire Department Incident Entry-Mayfield and McLaughlin; and
- CCTV Footage from two commercial premises on Mayfield Road.
The Complainant continued past the officer’s location and turned right onto Hurontario Street, approximately 500 metres west of Valleyview Road. The SO turned left onto Mayfield Road and followed the Complainant north on Hurontario Street, activating his emergency lights and honking his emergency horn. The Complainant executed a U-turn on Hurontario Street a short distance north of Mayfield Road, travelled south and then right onto westbound Mayfield Road. The officer followed suit.
After Hurontario Street, the Complainant accelerated away from the SO. The SO followed for a short period before slowing down and pulling over to the north curb in the area of Van Kirk Drive, shutting off his emergency equipment. He remained stationary for a few seconds, after which he resumed his travel westward on Mayfield Road.
The Complainant continued at pace through a red light at McLaughlin Road. At the same time, CW #2 was traveling south on McLaughlin Road toward Mayfield Road. He entered the intersection on a green light and struck the passenger side of the Complainant’s vehicle. The collision sent both vehicles careening toward the ditch at the southwest corner of the intersection.
The SO arrived shortly after the collision and rushed to both vehicles to render assistance. CW #2 had exited his vehicle on his own power. He was shaken up but fortunate to have escaped serious injury. The Complainant’s vehicle had rolled and come to rest on its side. Despite the efforts of the SO and several civilians at the scene, they were unable to right the vehicle and remove the Complainant. He was eventually extricated with the arrival of firefighters.
The Complainant was transported to hospital where he was admitted and diagnosed with a ruptured stoma related to a previous injury.
Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is dangerous driving causing bodily harm contrary to section 320.13(2) of the Criminal Code. The offence is predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. In the instant case, the focus of the analysis is whether there was any want of care on the part of the SO that caused or contributed to the collision and/or was sufficiently egregious as to attract criminal sanction. In my view, there was not.
The SO was in the discharge of his lawful duty when he attempted to stop the Complainant for a speeding violation. He had measured the Complainant’s speed at more than twice the speed limit and was within his rights when he pulled onto Mayfield Road to effect a traffic stop.
Thereafter, aside from a brief spurt of speed on Mayfield Road west of Hurontario Street as the officer attempted to catch up with the Complainant, there is little evidence that the manner of the SO’s driving constituted a danger on the roadway. Though the officer travelled at points upwards of 120 km/h, he had his emergency equipment activated and does not appear to have directly imperiled surrounding traffic in any way. Moreover, the SO’s speed was short-lived, occurring over a matter of seconds and about a kilometre as the officer, prudently, in my view, decided to disengage when it was clear that the Complainant was not about to stop. Finally, it does not appear that the SO was very close to the Complainant as the pursuit travelled west on Mayfield Road. In fact, by the time the SO discontinued the pursuit, the Complainant was hundreds of metres ahead of the officer. In the circumstances, there is no suggestion that the officer unduly pushed the Complainant or left him no reasonable opportunity to slow down and alter his reckless driving.
On the foregoing analysis, I am unable to reasonably conclude that the SO transgressed
the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges against the officer and the file is closed.
Date: May 3, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) The following records contain sensitive personal information and are not being released pursuant to section 34(2) of the Special Investigations Unit Act, 2019. The material portions of the records are summarized below. [Back to text]
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.