Cruiser accidentRunnersCruiser and motorbike
thick blue gradient line

News Release

SIU Concludes Falling Injuries Investigation near Espanola

Case Number: 12-PCI-279

Mississauga (29 October, 2012) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer with the Espanola detachment with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 38-year-old woman in September of 2012.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident.  As part of the investigation, two witness officers and nine civilian witnesses were interviewed.  The subject officer provided an interview and his duty notes to the SIU.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Sunday, September 23:
• In the afternoon hours, the subject officer and two witness officers were dispatched to a bridge on Hwy 17 spanning the Sauble River. The subject officer was informed that an individual was hanging onto the safety railing of the bridge.
• When the subject officer arrived, he saw a woman standing on a cement ledge outside the safety railing of the south side of the bridge.  Traffic going over the bridge was shut down.
• The three OPP officers, along with an officer from the Anishinabek Police Service, slowly approached the woman, talking to her and attempting to convince her not to jump. 
• Approximately 15 minutes later, when one of the witness officers was close enough to grab the woman, she looked at the subject officer, let go of the safety railing and fell.   She initially landed on the rocks below and ended up in the Sauble River. The Anishinabek Police Service officer ran down to the river, jumped in and brought the woman to shore.
• She was ultimately air lifted to Health Sciences North in Sudbury and treated for multiple traumas to her abdomen, pelvis and left wrist.

Director Scott said, “On the basis of this investigation, no culpability may attach to the actions of any of the involved officers – they were attempting to save her from imminent harm. Unfortunately, notwithstanding the efforts of all involved officers, she did jump causing serious injuries to herself.”

 

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