SIU Concludes Investigation in Renfrew Motor Vehicle Death
Case Number: 14-PVD-096
Other News Releases Related to Case 14-PVD-096
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), Whitney Detachment, with any criminal offence in relation to the death of a 67-year-old man in May of this year.
The SIU assigned seven investigators, two forensic investigators and a collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, two witness officers and 13 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.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Thursday, May 1, 2014:
- At approximately 1:10 p.m., the man was driving a Toyota Camry eastbound on Highway 132. He was observed by the subject officer to be driving at a high rate of speed.
- The subject officer commenced a pursuit of the man’s vehicle eastbound on Highway 132 east of Highway 41 in the area of Scotch Bush Road.
- The pursuit travelled a distance of about seven kilometres and lasted approximately two and a half minutes before it was called off by a sergeant at the OPP communications centre for the region.
- The man continued to drive for an additional 14 kilometres on Highway 132, before turning north onto Stone Road and travelling a further 11 kilometres.
- A witness officer was travelling westbound on Highway 132 and encountered the Camry as it passed him at a speed he estimated to be in the neighbourhood of 150 to 160 km/h.
- The witness officer turned his vehicle around to follow the man, but had already lost sight of the Camry by the time he had made his turn on the road.
- With another officer also patrolling the highway in his cruiser, the witness officer tried to re-locate the Camry and eventually found it on a farmer’s field located in the area north of 2126 Stone Road.
- The vehicle had left the roadway and become involved in a single vehicle collision. The man was found deceased inside the vehicle; medical evidence later indicated that the cause of death was a heart attack.
Director Loparco stated, “I am satisfied that the subject officer’s short-lived involvement with the man was at all times lawful. Having clocked the Camry on radar traveling 112 km/h, he was entitled to stop the vehicle for further investigation and to issue a speeding ticket. The man appears to have brought his vehicle to a stop at the side of the road before accelerating away from the cruiser eastbound on Highway 132. The officer followed suit and contacted the communications centre to indicate that he had commenced a pursuit. He thereafter updated the communications centre with respect to the reason for the pursuit, his speed, traffic conditions and the manner in which the Camry was being operated. The roadway was dry, the weather was clear and the officer had his emergency lights activated. Having radioed that the Camry had just passed two other vehicles, the subject officer terminated the pursuit upon instruction from the communications centre on Highway 132 in the area of Toms Road. Regrettably, the man continued to accelerate eastbound even after the subject officer had stopped the pursuit. He did so for another 25 kilometres, having turned left onto Stone Road en route to the ultimate collision site.”
Director Loparco continued, “We are in the realm of speculation when it comes to why the man fled from the subject officer initially, continued to flee even after the pursuit had been called off for some time and lost control of his vehicle on Stone Road. Be that as it may, I am satisfied that the subject officer comported himself well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law.”
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.
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342