Cruiser and motorbikeRunnersCruiser accident
thick blue gradient line

News Release

SIU Concludes Markham Vehicle Death Investigation

Case Number: 13-OVD-089

Mississauga (5 June, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a York Regional Police officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 22-year-old man in April of 2013.

The SIU assigned four investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, two witness officers and eight 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 Monday, April 8:
• In the early afternoon hours, the subject officer was driving a marked cruiser - with another officer as his passenger – northbound on Kennedy Road. When he turned east onto Major MacKenzie Drive, both officers noticed a motorcycle driving at a high rate of speed ahead of them. The posted speed limit on Major MacKenzie Drive is 70 km/h at this location. The subject officer increased the cruiser’s speed in an attempt to follow the motorcycle. The motorcycle was weaving around other vehicles and continuing to speed. The subject officer increased his vehicle’s speed, ultimately to 141 km/h, closing the distance between the cruiser and the motorcycle, and activated his emergency equipment in an attempt to signal the motorcyclist to stop. The motorcycle driver slowed down and began to pull over to the curb lane in an apparent attempt to stop. At this point, the motorcyclist was approximately 150 metres west of McCowan Road and the cruiser was another three to six car lengths west of the motorcycle.
• Suddenly, the motorcyclist accelerated at a high rate of speed toward the intersection at McCowan Road and Major MacKenzie Drive. This intersection is controlled by traffic lights, and the lights in the eastbound lane were red. The subject officer did not pursue the motorcycle but continued to move eastbound at a reduced speed. As the motorcyclist sped into the intersection against a red light, he struck the driver’s side trunk area of a Hyundai Tucson attempting a right hand turn from McCowan Road onto Major MacKenzie Drive.
• The motorcyclist was ejected. As a result of the impacts with the civilian vehicle and the roadway, the man sustained life threatening injuries and was later pronounced deceased at Markham Stouffville Hospital. 

The collision reconstructionist conservatively estimated the speed of the motorcycle at the point of impact as 97 km/h. There is no evidence of contact between the subject officer’s cruiser and the motorcycle.

Director Scott said, “The subject officer had the lawful authority to attempt to stop the motorcyclist in these circumstances – he was seen to be speeding, a breach of the Highway Traffic Act. While the officer used his emergency equipment to signal the motorcyclist to stop, he did not pursue the vehicle after it accelerated away from him. Accordingly, it does not appear that the subject officer ever initiated a suspect apprehension pursuit. The only reasonable inference to draw from this investigation is that the motorcyclist fled from the subject officer after initially slowing down. Further, he drove in a reckless manner into the intersection of Major MacKenzie Drive and McCowan Road against a red light. He then struck a civilian vehicle, causing his own demise. While these circumstances are regrettable, the man was the author of his own misfortune and no criminal liability may attach to the actions of the subject officer.”     

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