SIU Concludes Oshawa Vehicle Injuries Investigation
Case Number: 13-OVI-131
Other News Releases Related to Case 13-OVI-131
Mississauga (23 July, 2013) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Durham Regional Police officer with any criminal offence in relation to injuries sustained by three individuals - a 39-year-old male, a 27-year-old male and a 33-year-old female.
The SIU assigned six investigators, three forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, five witness officers and 18 civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer consented to an interview with the SIU but 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 Sunday, June 9, 2013:
• In the early hours of the day, the subject officer observed a Ford F150 pickup truck travelling northbound on Centre Street against the flow of traffic. While he did not know it at the time, the truck had been stolen. There were three young people in the cab.
• The subject officer followed the truck, which eventually turned onto southbound Simcoe Street again going against the traffic. He activated his roof lights in an attempt to stop the truck.
• The youth driving the stolen truck proceeded to turn the wrong way into the eastbound lanes of King Street. The subject officer activated his siren and radioed in that he was initiating a pursuit.
• The pickup truck gathered speed, and in the vicinity of McMillan Street on King Street, it was travelling at approximately 120 km/hr.
• The subject officer backed off, hoping that the truck would slow down. As the subject officer crested a hill near Stevenson Road, he saw the truck spinning out of control, and coming to rest near a tree.
• He saw two people running from the cab of the truck. The subject officer parked his cruiser, and took chase, apprehending one of the truck’s occupants.
• When he returned to the site of the truck, he was informed that three pedestrians who were waiting for a taxi were seriously injured by the truck.
• They were transported to Oshawa General Hospital.
• All three complainants sustained serious injuries and were eventually released from the hospital after receiving medical treatment.
The accident reconstructionist report concluded that the truck mounted the northwest concrete sidewalk of the intersection of King St West at Stevenson Road at approximately 87 km/hr. The truck mounted the curb and struck three pedestrians. The truck continued westbound while rotating clockwise and came to rest on the grass just north of the sidewalk. About ten seconds later, a marked cruiser driven by the subject officer came through the intersection at 83 km/hr with its emergency lights activated. There is no evidence of physical contact between the subject officer’s cruiser and the Ford pickup truck.
Director Scott said, “The subject officer had the lawful authority to enter into a suspect apprehension pursuit of the pickup truck – it was being driven in a dangerous manner, and its driver did not stop after being signaled to do so. The subject officer stayed in touch with his dispatcher and took into consideration the risk to public safety by backing off in an attempt to have the truck’s driver slow down. Unfortunately, its driver had no intention of stopping, lost control and struck three pedestrians causing serious injury to all of them. In my view, the subject officer complied with the Suspect Apprehension Pursuit Regulation to the Police Services Act in a lawful attempt to apprehend the driver of the pursued vehicle. Unfortunately, the driver of the pursued vehicle lost control of the pickup truck, probably due to his inexperience as a driver and desire not to be apprehended driving a stolen vehicle, and struck three pedestrians. While this motor vehicle collision was regrettable, I have no grounds to believe the subject officer committed a criminal offence when he had the lawful authority to engage in this suspect apprehension pursuit.”
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.
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