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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation in Hawkesbury

Case Number: 04-PVD-120

Mississauga (19 January, 2005) --- James L. Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has determined that an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer is not criminally liable in the death of Jeannine Myre.

Mrs. Myre, 79 years of age, died after being struck by a police cruiser on Cartier Boulevard in Hawkesbury.

The SIU investigation revealed that on November 24, 2004, at approximately 6:55 p.m., an OPP officer in an unmarked police car was en route to the OPP Hawkesbury detachment. The officer was traveling northbound on Cartier Boulevard at or around the posted speed limit of 40 km/h. At 895 Cartier Boulevard, the officer struck Mrs. Myre who was crossing the road. After realizing that he had struck a pedestrian, the officer called for assistance which arrived almost immediately. OPP officers administered first aid to Mrs. Myre until an ambulance arrived. Mrs. Myre was taken to Hawkesbury District General Hospital where she was pronounced dead.

After a careful review of all the evidence, the Director determined the following:
· The collision occurred almost directly in front of a burnt out streetlight;

· Mrs. Myre was wearing dark clothing that made it difficult if not impossible for her to be seen by motorists;
· There was poor visibility at the time of the collision due to heavy rain; and
· Mrs. Myre was crossing the roadway at a location other than an intersection or a crosswalk, thus the officer would not be as likely to be on the lookout for a pedestrian at that location.

Director Cornish concluded the officer's driving on the night in question fell within the limits prescribed by the criminal law. He said, "It appears Mrs. Myre unwittingly and tragically put herself in a position where she could not be seen by passing motorists. She may have been impeded herself from seeing the officer's cruiser by the same weather conditions and by virtue of her own visual limitations."

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. 
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342