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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation of Injuries in Tosorontio near Nottawasaga

Case Number: 14-PVI-102

Mississauga (18 June, 2014) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an officer with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Nottawasaga Detachment, with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 55- year-old man and 50-year-old woman, in May of this year. 

The SIU assigned four investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, three witness officers were interviewed. The subject officer was also interviewed but did not provide his notes, as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Friday, May 2, 2014:
  • At approximately 9:30 p.m. that night, the subject officer was in an unmarked police vehicle conducting traffic and speed enforcement southbound on County Road 15 in Tosorontio Township. 
  • He clocked a pickup truck travelling northbound at 110 km/h in an 80 km/h speed zone.
  • The officer made a U-turn to stop the vehicle. As the subject officer completed his U-turn, he was about 250 metres behind the pickup. 
  • Despite reaching speeds of 150 – 160 km/h, the officer was unable to make up the gap between the two vehicles as the pickup truck had also picked up speed.  
  • The pickup truck approached the crest of a hill on the roadway as it headed toward Side Road 15. 
  • Within seconds, the subject officer crested the same hill and saw the pickup truck drift into the southbound lane before it corrected back into the northbound lane.  
  • The vehicles were separated by about 100 – 125 metres at this time.  It was at this point that the officer turned on his emergency lights.  
  • A few seconds later, the pickup truck again veered into the southbound lane, this time striking a southbound Honda CRV. 
  • At the time of the collision, the officer was approximately 75 metres behind the pickup. 
  • The male and female, who were occupants of the Honda CRV, suffered serious injuries and were treated at hospital.  

Director Loparco said, “The officer’s overall engagement with the pickup truck, from the time he completed his U-turn to the time of collision, occurred in light traffic over the course of 30 seconds and 1.3 kilometres.  Within this time frame, it was only two or three seconds from when he activated his emergency lights until the collision.  The point is that this was a short-lived pursuit that was essentially over before it began in earnest with the activation of the emergency lights.  The subject officer was operating an emergency vehicle and engaged in the execution of his duties.  Accordingly, under the Highway Traffic Act, he was exempt in these circumstances from the speed limit (section 128(13)(b)).  Finally, it does not appear that the officer’s driving unduly fueled the driving behavior of the driver of the pickup truck, notwithstanding the officer’s speeds.  The evidence further establishes that the officer was never closer than about 75 metres from the pickup truck.  In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the officer’s conduct fell short of a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances, and that there is therefore no basis to proceed with charges in this case.” 

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. 

Jasbir Dhillon, jasbir.dhillon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342