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News Release

SIU Concludes Wasaga Beach Vehicle Injuries Investigation

Case Number: 13-PVI-167

Mississauga (27 August, 2013) --- 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 any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by three males in July of 2013.

The SIU assigned five investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, four witness officers and 18 civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer declined to provide his notes or a statement to the SIU, as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, July 13, 2013:
• In the evening hours, five males left the Wasaga Beach area in a Chrysler Sebring. The driver of the vehicle had allegedly been drinking alcohol. While driving along Main Street, the driver rear-ended a stationary vehicle and immediately fled the scene.
• The subject officer received information about the collision and the fleeing vehicle.  He first spotted the Sebring driving eastbound on River Street South and attempted to pull it over. However, the driver did not comply with the subject officer’s attempt to stop his vehicle, and accelerated away from the officer. 
• Shortly thereafter, the driver of the Sebring lost control of his vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway just east of Beachway Trail, striking a house on the north side of River Road. The driver fled on foot from the accident scene and was arrested a short distance away.
• Three of his passengers, two 26-year-old males and a 28-year old male, suffered serious injuries including spinal injuries and ruptured internal organs.

According to the collision reconstruction report, The Sebring was travelling at 143 km/h in a 50 km/h speed zone when it left the roadway. There was no evidence to suggest that the subject officer’s police cruiser came into contact with the vehicle.

Director Scott said, “The subject officer had the lawful authority to enter into a suspect apprehension pursuit of the vehicle – he had information it was involved in the criminal offence of failing to remain at the scene of an accident, and its driver refused to pull over when signaled to do so. The driver of the Sebring clearly had no intention of stopping and drove in a reckless manner in an attempt to elude apprehension. The pursuit was very short because the driver quickly lost control of his vehicle, causing it to leave the roadway and strike a house. Unfortunately, three passengers in the vehicle suffered serious injuries as a result of this collision. The subject officer cannot be held criminally liable for the dangerous driving of the man in these circumstances.”       

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