SIU Concludes Gananoque Vehicle Injuries Investigation
Case Number: 13-OVI-206
(24 September, 2013) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Gananoque Police Service officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 19-year-old motorcyclist last month.
The SIU assigned two investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, two witness officers and six civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer consented to an interview with the SIU and supplied a copy of his duty notes.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, August 17, 2013:
In the evening hours, the subject officer and another officer were driving eastbound on King Street West in a police cruiser when they encountered two individuals driving dirt bikes westbound at a high rate of speed with no lights or reflectors on them.
The subject officer made a conscious decision not to enter into a suspect apprehension pursuit. Instead, he decided to follow the motorcycles and only activated his emergency lights to safely make a U-turn to proceed westbound. The officer turned off his emergency lights after approximately 200 metres. He continued westbound and approached a bridge that was under construction just before the King Street West and Ferguson Lane intersection. The bridge was poorly lit and the road was reduced to a single passing lane on the south shoulder with concrete barriers on both sides. As the subject officer approached the bridge, he saw an eastbound car that was not moving even though it had right of way. The officer proceeded further and saw a man lying on the road. His body had sustained obvious trauma. The man’s motorcycle was found in the vicinity.
Paramedics soon attended and transported the man to Kingston General Hospital for treatment of serious injuries, including a fractured right femur.
Director Scott said, “In my view, the subject officer did nothing wrong in these circumstances. He did not initiate a suspect apprehension pursuit because of his correct understanding of the service’s directive with respect to pursuits. Unfortunately, it would appear that the motorcyclist either chose to flee from the police presence or continued to drive in a dangerous manner unrelated to police presence. In any event, he lost control of his motorcycle as he entered the construction site of the bridge area, and sustained serious injuries when he collided with the concrete barriers used to divert traffic to one lane. The subject officer cannot be held criminally liable for this decision by the man to drive in such a dangerous manner.”
The SIU is an independent government agency that investigates the conduct of officials (police officers as well as special constables with the Niagara Parks Commission and peace officers with the Legislative Protective Service) that may have resulted in death, serious injury, sexual assault and/or the discharge of a firearm at a person. All investigations are conducted by SIU investigators who are civilians. Under the Special Investigations Unit Act, the Director of the SIU must
- consider whether the official has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation
- depending on the evidence, cause a criminal charge to be laid against the official where grounds exist for doing so, or close the file without any charges being laid
- publicly report the results of its investigations
Monica Hudon, email@example.com
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342