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News Release

SIU Concludes Cobourg Vehicle Injuries Investigation

Case Number: 13-OVI-025

Mississauga (9 May, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Cobourg Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 40-year-old man in January of 2013.

The SIU assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, five witness officers and four civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer declined to be interviewed or provide a copy of his notes to the SIU, as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, January 26:
• In the evening hours, the subject officer was driving an unmarked police cruiser northbound on Division Street just south of Elgin Street. The cruiser’s emergency equipment was not activated.
• As the subject officer entered the intersection of Division and Elgin Streets, his cruiser collided with a Kia Magentis travelling east.
• The driver of the Kia was transported to Northumberland Hills Hospital where he was diagnosed as sustaining a fractured left clavicle and internal bleeding on the brain. The subject officer sustained minor injuries as a result of the collision.

Director Scott said, “While there is some controversy over which driver had the benefit of a green light as the two cars entered the intersection at right angles to each other, the preponderance of evidence suggests that the light was green in the north-south direction, and therefore to the benefit of the subject officer.”

Director Scott continued, “Based on evidence obtained, the officer was travelling at 80 km/h – 30 km/h over the speed limit – shortly before the collision. However, given the probability that the subject officer entered the intersection with a green traffic light in his favour, it could not be said that his driving was such a marked departure that it reached the threshold of dangerous driving as defined by the Criminal Code.  Pursuant to the Highway Traffic Act, a police department vehicle being used in the lawful performance of a police officer’s duties is exempt from prescribed speed limits. Here, it is unclear whether or not the officer was in the lawful performance of his duties because he did not provide a statement to the SIU. However, even if he was not in the lawful performance of his duties, I am of the view that driving at this excessive speed through an intersection with a green traffic light in his favour does not give grounds for the offence of dangerous driving.”

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