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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation in Mississauga Vehicle Death

Case Number: 13-PVD-284

Mississauga (20 June, 2014) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 16-year-old male in November of last year. 

The SIU assigned six investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, three witness officers and nine 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.  As part of the investigation, the SIU also collected and reviewed GPS data from the subject officer’s police cruiser.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Saturday, November 23, 2013:
  • At approximately 6:20 a.m., officers with the OPP were conducting a RIDE program on the westbound off ramp of the QEW onto Hurontario Street.  
  • The youth, who was driving a silver coloured Honda Civic, approached the checkpoint and stopped.  
  • Following a brief exchange with two witness officers, the youth accelerated away from the checkpoint heading north on Hurontario Street.  
  • The two witness officers believed the driver to be impaired by alcohol and along with the subject officer initiated a pursuit in an attempt to stop him. 
  • The subject officer was the driver of the lead cruiser in pursuit of the Honda Civic. GPS data from his cruiser indicates that he reached a top speed of at least 144 km/h during the pursuit. 
  • The posted speed limit in the relevant stretch of road was 50 km/h.
  • As the driver of the Honda Civic continued northbound on Hurontario Street, he ran through a red light at the Dundas Street intersection, lost control of his vehicle and collided with a utility pole situated on the sidewalk along Hurontario Street on the northeast corner of the intersection.  
  • The Honda Civic was travelling at speeds between 161 km/h and 186 km/h at the point of impact.
  • The Honda sustained catastrophic damage and the youth who was badly injured lost vital signs at the scene and was pronounced dead a short time later in hospital.
 
Director Loparco said, “The cruiser’s emergency lights were active from the start of the pursuit until some point past the time of the collision. At 0622 hrs and 49 seconds, the GPS data indicates that the subject officer was travelling at 144 km/h.  At 0622 hrs and 59 seconds, the officer broadcast that he was discontinuing the pursuit. Approximately five seconds later, at 0623 hrs and four seconds, the GPS data records the cruiser’s speed at 104 km/h.   There is no doubt, in my view, that the subject officer’s speed alone, almost triple the legal limit at one or more points during the pursuit, could have endangered the public around him.  That said, the subject officer was a police officer operating an emergency vehicle and engaged in the execution of his duties. Under the Highway Traffic Act, he was exempt in these circumstances from the speed limit (section 128 (13) (b)). It is also important to note that the road was dry and the weather was clear. Though dark at that time of the day, it appears that traffic on the roads was lighter than usual it being an early Saturday morning. Lastly the officer had his emergency lights activated throughout most if not the entirety of the pursuit. The evidence also suggests the subject officer discontinued the pursuit shortly after it started.”  

Director Loparco concluded, “I am not satisfied the officer’s conduct amounted to a marked departure from the standard of care prescribed by the criminal law – the key test for assessing criminal liability in these cases.  The driver of the Honda Civic was not unduly “pushed” by the subject officer.  In the circumstances, I am satisfied on reasonable grounds that there are insufficient grounds upon which to proceed with criminal 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