SIU Director’s Report - Case # 21-TVI-152
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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 serious injuries sustained by a 49-year-old man (Complainant #1) and a 30-year-old woman (Complainant #2).
Notification of the SIUOn May 13, 2021, at 9:40 p.m., the Toronto Police Service (TPS) notified the SIU of injuries to Complainant #1 and Complainant #2.
The TPS reported that at 7:49 p.m., the Subject Official (SO) was en route to a call for service when his marked cruiser collided with a motorcycle on Sixth Street at Birmingham Street. The driver of the motorcycle, Complainant #1, was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital (SMH) and found to have suffered a fractured hip. The passenger on the motorcycle, Complainant #2, was also taken to SMH and diagnosed with leg fractures.
The TeamDate and time team dispatched: 05/13/2021 at 11:03 p.m.
Date and time SIU arrived on scene: 05/13/2021 at 11:59 p.m.
Number of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Affected Persons (aka “Complainants”):Complainant #1 49-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Complainant #2 30-year-old female interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
The complainants were interviewed on May 17, 2021.
Subject OfficialsSO Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
The subject official was interviewed on June 2, 2021.
Witness OfficialsWO Interviewed
The witness official was interviewed on May 18, 2021.
Birmingham Street ran in a general east / west direction and was the through road. The road was paved with visible lane markings and there were raised concrete curbs on the north and south edges of the roadway followed by raised pedestrian sidewalks. There was one lane in each direction and one left turn lane and one right turn lane for westbound traffic as one approached the intersection of Islington Avenue (west of the collision scene). There were also marked bicycle lanes for eastbound and westbound traffic. There were overhead streetlights on both sides of the roadway. The area was mixed commercial and residential.
Sixth Street ran in a general north / south direction. Between Birmingham Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West, Sixth Street was one-way (southbound). There were clearly posted do not enter signs in the northeast and northwest corners of the intersection with “DO NOT ENTER” printed under the northwest sign. Just to the north of the intersection was Alex Faulkner Lane that ran east from Sixth Street. There were clearly posted one-way (southbound) signs on either edge of the roadway. All vehicles were parked facing in a southerly direction on the east side of Sixth Street.
There were no posted speed limit signs in the areas travelled on Lake Shore Boulevard West and Sixth Street.
The roadway was paved with raised concrete curbs on both the east and west edges of the roadway followed by raised concrete sidewalks. Sixth Street south of Birmingham Street was one-way for southbound traffic and, north of Birmingham Street, consisted of two-way traffic with southbound traffic on Sixth Street controlled with a stop sign at Birmingham Street. There were overhead streetlights on the west side of the roadway. Vehicles were parked on the east side of the roadway facing southbound. The area was mixed commercial and residential.
A convenience store at Sixth Street occupied the southeast corner of the intersection. There were two closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras mounted on the northwest corner of the store.
There were two vehicles directly involved in the collision.
Vehicle 1 – Police - 2019 Ford ExplorerThis vehicle was being operated north on Sixth Street. It had extensive front left collision damage. There were scuff markings on the front engine hood, and the front windshield was damaged on the driver’s side. All the left side air bags and driver’s side steering wheel airbag had deployed. The cruiser was equipped with an ICCS which began recording 30 seconds prior to an activation event. This police vehicle was mechanically examined post collision and found to be in roadworthy condition.
Figure 2 - The SO’s 2019 Ford Explorer with extensive front-end damage.
Vehicle 2 - Honda CV400T motorcycleThis vehicle was orientated in a southeasterly direction in the northbound lane of Sixth Street north of the intersection with Birmingham Street. The motorcycle had extensive collision damage. Investigation revealed this motorcycle was being operated in an easterly direction on Birmingham Street.
Figure 3 - Scrapes on the roadway leading up to Complainant #1 and Complainant #2's motorcycle.
Figure 4 - Complainant #1 and Complainant #2's Honda CV400T motorcycle.
Crash Data Retrieved (CDR) from TPS police cruiserThe data were retrieved from the vehicle by a TPS Traffic Services officer on May 14, 2021, at 2:16 a.m., using the CDR tool. An “event” was recorded in the air bag control module. The front and side curtain air bags had been deployed during the collision. The SO was not wearing a seat belt.
From five seconds prior to the collision, down to four seconds prior to the collision, the SO was traveling about 54 km/h. From four seconds prior to the collision, down to one second prior to the collision, the SO decelerated from about 53 km/h to about 51 km/h, with less pressure on the accelerator pedal but no braking. At about one-half second prior to the collision, the SO had decelerated to about 50 km/h, still with some pressure on the accelerator pedal but no braking.
At the moment the air bags were commanded to deploy (for collision investigation purposes, this would be considered the time of the collision), the SO had released the accelerator pedal but not yet applied the brakes. There was no deviation to the steering (traveling forward and straight) in the final five seconds until the time of the collision.
The data reported by the CDR system were consistent with the SO traveling at a steady rate of speed for a period of about five seconds just prior to the collision, then removing his foot from the accelerator pedal at the moment the vehicle and the motorcycle collided.
Video/Audio/Photographic Evidence 
Statements recorded on the WO’s Body-Worn Camera (BWC)The WO spoke to a civilian witness at 8:25:17 p.m. The witness was driving a Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) bus eastbound on Birmingham Street, west of Islington Avenue. He was turning north on Islington Avenue at the time of the collision. He did not witness the collision but told the WO the CCTV on board the bus might have captured it.
The bus driver said he saw a motorcycle not involved in the collision laying on the street. This motorcycle belonged to another civilian witness.  The bus driver saw the civilian witness picking up the motorcycle when he ran over. The bus driver saw the TPS SUV on Birmingham Street with the airbags deployed and two people laying on the ground near a motorcycle when he ran over to the scene. He only saw the aftermath of the collision.
At 8:34:48 p.m., the WO took a statement from the civilian witness who owned the motorcycle not involved in the collision. He told her he was driving eastbound on Birmingham Street, east of Islington Avenue, 100 yards behind Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 who were driving a motorcycle. He saw Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 veering left on the road, appearing to be turning north on Sixth Street. He then saw a police SUV drive north on Sixth Street, driving the wrong way on the one-way street, entering the intersection without stopping. The police SUV T-boned the motorcycle in the intersection near the middle of the road. The motorcycle was thrown away and Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 were thrown to the sidewalk. After the collision, the police officer exited his police cruiser immediately. The witness locked up his brakes on his motorcycle and fell to the ground with it. He then picked it back up and moved it to the side. The police officer ran to the side of Complainant #1 and Complainant #2, crouching down and speaking to them, letting them know everything would be fine and an ambulance was on the way.
CCTV footage from Sixth Street This CCTV was from a residential home near the intersection. There was no time clock on the video.
At 0000:02 hours into the recording, a marked police SUV operated by the SO was seen driving north on Sixth Street. The SUV exited the camera view and a crash sound was heard. At 0000:09 hours, a blurred object was seen traveling eastbound across Birmingham Street [later identified as a motorcycle]. A vehicle horn was heard honking [later identified as coming from the SO’s police cruiser].
CCTV footage from Birmingham StreetAt 7:46:28 p.m., a marked police SUV cruiser driven by the SO was observed driving north on Sixth Street and not stopping at the intersection at Birmingham Street. The police cruiser drove into the intersection and out of view of the camera. A black motorcycle helmet was seen rolling across Birmingham Street in a northeast direction from the middle of the intersection and stopping on the sidewalk in front of a parked white sedan.
At 7:47:06 p.m., a marked police cruiser operated by the WO drove west on Birmingham Street and slowed down as it approached the intersection. The police cruiser then drove east and out of view of the camera.
CCTV from the Convenience StoreAt 7:48:02 p.m., a motorcycle with two people on it [now known to have been Complainant #1 and Complainant #2] drove east on Birmingham Street.
At 7:48:03 p.m., a marked police SUV cruiser operated by the SO drove north on Sixth Street and approached the intersection with Birmingham Street. The motorcycle entered the intersection at the same time, and tire noises were heard. The police cruiser entered the intersection and, as the motorcycle crossed in front of it, the police cruiser’s brake lights were activated.
At 7:48:05 p.m., the police cruiser collided with the right side of the motorcycle and the sound of the impact could be heard. The police cruiser swerved to the right with the brakes still applied. Complainant #1 was seen rolling over the top of the hood of the police cruiser and smashing into the windshield. He was then thrown onto the street.
A black helmet belonging to either Complainant #1 or Complainant #2 was seen in the air being tossed in an easterly direction.
At 7:48:07 p.m., Complainant #1’s body came to a stop on the northeast corner sidewalk of Sixth Street and Birmingham Street with his head pointed east. Complainant #2’s body stopped on the northeast corner of the intersection on the roadway, with her head pointed west. The black helmet stopped on the north sidewalk, east of the intersection and in front of a parked white sedan. The police cruiser came to a stop in the intersection blocking the westbound lane on Birmingham Street facing north.
ICCS footage from the SO’s TPS Police CruiserAt 7:47:34 p.m., the SO drove westbound on Lake Shore Boulevard West in the right curb lane. He slowed down to turn right, going north on Sixth Street, which was a one-way street permitting southbound traffic only. A circular ‘Do Not Enter’ sign was posted on the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West.
There was a second circular ‘Do Not Enter’ sign posted on the northwest corner of Sixth Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West.
A solid thick white line was visible across Sixth Street at Lake Shore Boulevard West.
A grey sedan attempted to turn left out of a parking lot on Sixth Street and stopped partially in the roadway as the police cruiser drove north on Sixth Street. There was also a posted one-way directional arrow sign posted on the west side of Sixth Street across from the grey sedan and parking lot. There were cars parked on the east side of Sixth Street all facing south.
At 7:48:04 p.m., the SO entered the intersection of Sixth Street and Birmingham Street without stopping. As he was traveling in the wrong direction, there was no stop sign indicating he had to stop. The motorcycle operated by Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 entered the intersection along Birmingham Street traveling eastbound in front of the SO. The police cruiser and motorcycle collided. The police cruiser made contact on the right side of the motorcycle. Complainant #1 was ejected from the motorcycle and collided with the windshield of the police cruiser. Complainant #2 was ejected onto the roadway. The motorcycle slid along the road northbound on Sixth Street, north of Birmingham Street. The police cruiser stopped at the northeast corner of Sixth Street and Birmingham Street. The audio picked up the sound of the impact and the horn of the police cruiser continuously honking.
CCTV footage from TTC BusThe TTC bus was a standard transportation bus with four CCTV cameras on board recording the interior of the bus and the immediate exterior along the bus. None of the cameras provided video footage of evidentiary value to this case.
TPS Radio CommunicationsAt 7:48:38 p.m., the SO called his dispatch and reported he needed an ambulance at Sixth Street and Birmingham Street. When asked by the dispatcher what had occurred, he replied that he had two victims who had been struck on a motorcycle; they had broken bones, and both were conscious and breathing. The SO also reported that he required two available units to block Islington Avenue and Birmingham Street.
At 7:51:36 p.m., the SO requested a rush on the ambulance and confirmed he had two victims - a woman and a man. The woman had a broken leg and arm, and was bleeding from her thigh. Both were conscious and breathing. He informed the dispatcher this was a departmental collision and requested that a traffic sergeant attend. He indicated that he was not injured.
At 8:24:11 p.m., the WO asked that she be marked at the scene.
Materials Obtained from Police Service The SIU obtained the following records from the TPS between May 14, 2021, and June 2, 2021:
• CDR Download for the SO’s Cruiser;• General Occurrence;• Communications recordings;• Vehicle Mechanical Examination for the SO’s Cruiser;• Notes of the SO and WO;• BWC footage of the SO and WO;• ICCS footage from the SO’s cruiser; and• Motor Vehicle Accident Report.
Materials Obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU obtained and reviewed the following records from the following other sources:
• Medical Records from SMH – Complainant #1;• Medical Records from SMH – Complainant #2;• CCTV footage; and• City of Toronto Book of Regulatory Signs.
At about 7:48 p.m. of May 13, 2021, Complainant #1 was operating a motorcycle eastbound on Birmingham Street heading toward the roadway’s intersection with Sixth Street. With him at the time was his passenger, Complainant #2. As they entered the intersection, their motorcycle was broadsided by a TPS SUV traveling north onto Birmingham Street from Sixth Street.
The SO was the driver of the police SUV. He had been traveling the wrong way north on a one-way southbound stretch of Sixth Street at the time. The officer was on-duty and making his way back to the Toronto Police College in the area to meet with a colleague and complete his notes of a recently concluded call for service.
Following the collision, the SO exited his cruiser and went to render aid to Complainant #1 and Complainant #2, who had been knocked off the motorcycle and sent sprawling in a northeast direction. Paramedics were called to the scene and transported the two to hospital.
Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 had suffered serious injuries.
Section 219, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing death
(a) in doing anything, or(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
Section 221, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing death or bodily harm221 Every one who by criminal negligence causes bodily harm to another person is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years; or
Section 320.13, Criminal Code – Dangerous operation of motor vehicles, vessels and aircraft
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offences that arise for consideration are dangerous driving causing bodily harm and criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to section 320.13(2) and 221 of the Criminal Code, respectively. The former is predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from a level of care that a reasonable person would have observed in the circumstances. The latter is a more serious offence reserved for cases of neglect that demonstrate a wanton or reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons. The impugned behaviour must constitute a substantial, as well as a marked, departure from a reasonable level of care in order to give rise to liability. In the instant case, the issue is whether the SO fell short in his duty of care toward Complainant #1 and Complainant #2 and, if so, whether the officer’s conduct was sufficiently egregious to attract criminal sanction. In my view, while the SO is to blame for the collision, his conduct fell short of transgressing the limits of care prescribed by the criminal law.
It is clear that the SO was operating his vehicle without an appropriate degree of attention to his surroundings. As he turned right from westbound Lake Shore Boulevard West onto Sixth Street, he missed the “Do Not Enter” signs posted on the roadway indicating that Sixth Street was designated for southbound traffic only. Furthermore, when the officer arrived at Sixth Street’s intersection with Birmingham Street, the SO failed to pay heed to east / west traffic before entering the intersection. If he had, he presumably would have noticed Complainant #1’s motorcycle in the vicinity and refrained from proceeding until he had cleared the intersection. It appears the SO was, at least in part, distracted by having turned his attention toward his cruiser computer for reports of calls for service that might be coming in via dispatch.
That said, I am unable to reasonably characterize the SO’s indiscretions as criminal in nature. While the officer’s absent-mindedness was something more than a momentary lapse of attention, the totality of the circumstances point to something less than conduct that was markedly substandard. In arriving at this conclusion, it is important to note that there was no indication of any excessive speed on the part of the SO as he travelled toward Birmingham Street nor of any other dangerous driving behaviour. In addition, aside from the signs he missed denoting the road as one-way only, the SO did not encounter any southbound traffic that might have alerted him to the error of his ways as he travelled northward on Sixth Street.
On the aforementioned-record, while I accept that the SO failed in his duty of care to his fellow motorists and was directly responsible for the collision that seriously injured Complainant #1 and Complainant #2, I am not reasonably satisfied on balance that the officer’s failures were of a magnitude warranting criminal sanction. Accordingly, there is no basis for proceeding with criminal charges in this case, and the file is closed.
Date: September 8, 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]
- 2) This witness was not interviewed as he had given an account of what he had seen to the WO. [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.