SIU Concludes Investigation in Ottawa
Case Number: 04-OVD-123
The SIU was notified that an OPS officer had started to follow a car when a short time later, the car lost control and struck a hydro pole on McCarthy Road in Ottawa. The passenger in the car, Peter Cameron, died as a result of the collision. The driver of the car, Evan Branson, suffered multiples fractures.
The SIU investigation determined that at approximately 3:12 a.m., an OPS officer was in a marked cruiser and parked at the McDonald's restaurant on Bank Street near Hunt Club Road. A brown Ford Contour drove past the officer at a high rate of speed, traveling north on Bank Street. The officer began to follow the car and initiated the cruiser's roof lights at the top of the incline on Hunt Club Road. The officer reported to the communications centre that he was following the car and pursued it as it turned onto McCarthy Road. At around McCarthy Road and Cahill Drive West, the officer was advised to terminate the pursuit. The officer responded that he was terminating the pursuit and approximately 4 seconds later, reported that the car had just crashed.
After reviewing all of the available evidence, Director Cornish determined that the collision was unrelated to any action on the part of the involved officer. The Director stated, "There are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer committed any criminal offence. In fact, it is clear that the subject officer's driving fell well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law."
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.