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News Release

SIU Concludes Guelph Vehicle Injury Investigation

Case Number: 13-OVI-013

Mississauga (13 February, 2013) --- The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Joseph Martino, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Guelph Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injury sustained by a 53-year-old woman in January of 2013.

The SIU assigned three investigators and one forensic investigator to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, eight witness officers and two civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer declined an interview with the SIU and did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, January 17:
• In the evening hours, the woman was paying a visit to someone at the Guelph General Hospital. The subject officer was also at the hospital, but dealing with another matter.
• Just after 6 p.m., the subject officer was in his cruiser and exiting from the parking lot of the hospital onto Delhi Street when the front driver’s side of his cruiser struck the woman.
• The officer exited his vehicle and assisted the woman. She was quickly brought into the hospital and ultimately diagnosed with a fractured left leg. 

Acting Director Martino said, “The woman clearly had the right of way and the officer was under a corresponding duty to yield until it was safe to proceed.  That said, the officer’s conduct in my view was neither reckless nor dangerous.  There is no indication, for example, that he drove at excessive speed as he exited the lot or that he saw the woman in the vicinity of his cruiser and nevertheless decided to pull out in front of her.  Rather, the collision appears to be the result of a momentary lapse of attention on the part of the officer.  In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the subject officer’s conduct did not amount to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances and, therefore, that his conduct was not criminal.”               

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