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News Release

SIU Concludes Hamilton Vehicle Injury Investigation

Case Number: 12-OVI-092

Mississauga (8 May, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Hamilton Police Service (HPS) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 57-year-old woman in April of 2012.

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident.  Four witness officers, four civilian witnesses and the subject officer were interviewed.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, April 1:
• In the evening of that day, the subject officer was involved in traffic control due to a suicidal male on the Upper James Street and Lincoln Alexander Parkway (‘LAP’) overpass.  He positioned his marked cruiser facing north on LAP in order to block eastbound traffic and direct it onto Garth St via the off-ramp.  He activated the vehicle’s emergency lights, and ensured that its headlights were flashing on and off.  He then placed two incendiary flares just south of his cruiser near the entry to the off-ramp.
• The officer returned to his cruiser at 10:13 p.m.  As he was checking the vehicle’s inboard computer, a vehicle crashed into his cruiser at a high rate of speed, causing the subject officer’s vehicle to spin around several times.
• The woman driving the vehicle sustained a broken clavicle and sternum as a result of the impact.  The officer sustained a soft tissue injury to his left knee.
• Data retrieved from the Crash Data Retrieval System set the speed of her vehicle at 95 km/hr at the point of impact.

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer cannot be held responsible for this motor vehicle collision.  Under s. 134 of the Highway Traffic Act, a police officer may direct traffic and close a roadway when he or she determines it to be reasonably necessary.  Here, the subject officer was attempting to divert traffic from the LAP due to attempts by other officers to negotiate with a suicidal individual.  The officer made all reasonable attempts to illuminate his vehicle in an attempt to warn oncoming traffic.  The most reasonable inference from the results of this investigation is that the complainant did not see the stationary illuminated police vehicle until too late and is the individual responsible for the collision.  It is fortunate that the injuries to both parties were not extremely serious given the speed of her vehicle at the point of impact.”

The SIU is an arm’s length agency that investigates reports involving police where there has been death, serious injury or allegations of sexual assault. Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether an officer has committed a criminal offence  in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, lay a criminal charge against the officer if appropriate or close the file without any charges being laid
  • report the results of any investigations to the Attorney General. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342