News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Toronto Vehicle Death

Case Number: 12-TVD-218

Mississauga (28 August, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of 64-year-old Satyawatti (Janet) Katryan in July of 2012.

The SIU assigned eight investigators, three forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident.  The subject officer submitted to an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.  Six witness officers and 19 civilian witnesses were interviewed.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, July 28:
• On this date, the subject officer was engaged in a paid duty as a funeral escort and driving a marked police cruiser.  Shortly after noon, he was driving northbound on Hwy 27, taking turns methodically with two other cruisers to stop traffic up ahead of the procession.
• After having stopped traffic at Rexdale Boulevard, the subject officer continued northbound on Hwy 27 once the last funeral car went through the intersection.    On this stretch of road, there are three northbound and three southbound lanes separated by a raised concrete median. The subject officer was driving in the passing lane, and passed the procession in anticipation of stopping traffic at the next intersection.  He activated his roof lights and used his siren in short bursts as he travelled north. He briefly accelerated to 100 km/hr and then decelerated to 68 km/hr.  The posted speed limit was 70 km/hr. 
• Meanwhile, Ms. Katryan was crossing the street at a fast pace from the east side to the west side, weaving between cars in the funeral procession.  As she walked into the lane in which the subject officer was driving, her head was turned in the opposite direction from the oncoming police cruiser.  The subject officer applied his brakes but could not avoid striking her with the right front fender area of his cruiser.  Ms. Katryan then struck the windshield on the cruiser’s passenger side and fell to the ground. 
• The cruiser’s speed at the point of impact was between 38 and 44 km/hr.  
• The subject officer rendered assistance to Ms. Katryan who was lying unconscious on the roadway.  The coroner was summoned to the scene, and he declared her deceased.  A post-mortem examination concluded she died of blunt force trauma.

Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer was not responsible for the death of Ms. Katryan.  Unfortunately, she was jay-walking into traffic on a roadway where pedestrians are not allowed.  She then failed to see the cruiser driven by the subject officer until it was too late, even though it was not speeding and had its emergency equipment activated.  While her death is tragic, she was in my view the author of her own misfortune when she chose to cross this highway at a prohibited location and not pay attention to the oncoming traffic.” 

The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must

  • consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
  • depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
  • publicly report the results of its investigations

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