SIU Concludes Vehicle Deaths Investigation in Uxbridge
Case Number: 14-OVD-257
Other News Releases Related to Case 14-OVD-257
Mississauga (30 July, 2015) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge a Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) officer with any criminal offence in relation to the vehicle deaths of two males in October of 2014.
The SIU assigned six investigators, three forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, six witness officers and four civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer did not participate in an SIU interview and declined to provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.
The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Tuesday, October 28, 2014:
- At approximately 1:20 a.m., a Hyundai vehicle being operated by a 25-year-old male approached a RIDE program on Goodwood Road west of Concession Road 3. The vehicle turned right onto Goodwood Road and accelerated away from the program that was being operated by DRPS officers.
- Two officers in separate vehicles initiated a pursuit of the Hyundai, following it onto a property just east of Concession Road 3 and then east along Goodwood Road briefly before abandoning the pursuit.
- A short time later, the police observed the Hyundai again as it traveled south on Concession Road 3 past the RIDE program, failing to stop for the stop sign controlling south traffic at the intersection at Goodwood Road. An officer attempted to follow, but by the time he arrived at Concession Road 3 the Hyundai was nowhere to be seen.
- Just before 2 a.m., information was received that the Hyundai vehicle was on Old Highway 47. Officers were directed to that location. This information came from acquaintances of the Hyundai driver, who said the driver had contacted them and said he was fleeing from police and was heading to an address on Old Highway 47.
- The subject officer, in a marked cruiser with another officer as his passenger, located the Hyundai on Old Highway 47 and gave chase. The driver turned left onto Wagg Road and accelerated away from the cruiser. Shortly after the officer turned left onto Wagg Road, he received a radio transmission from a senior officer reporting that the driver of the Hyundai had been identified and the subject officer was therefore directed to end the pursuit. The subject officer slowed the cruiser, deactivated the emergency lights and disengaged.
- The Hyundai driver was speeding west on Wagg Road approaching Concession Road 3 when he lost control of the vehicle and veered across the opposing lane of traffic, his vehicle flipping into a ditch and slamming into a tree in the process. His 21-year-old passenger died at the scene. The driver was taken from the scene to hospital, where he died a short time later.
Director Loparco said, “There is no evidence to suggest that the subject officer – during the brief time he pursued the Hyundai – operated his vehicle in a dangerous or criminally negligent fashion, much less that he is to blame for the collision that took the lives of both men. For starters, I am satisfied that the pursuit was initiated in compliance with the regulation that governs police pursuits in the province. The police had reason to believe that the driver had evaded a RIDE program and was driving dangerously along the roadways in the area. Officers had seen him speeding, travelling onto private property and disobeying stop signs, at times with his headlights off. A resident in the area also called police to report that the Hyundai was accelerating up and down Old Highway 47 for no apparent reason. While the subject officer would have attained significant speed as he attempted to keep up with the Hyundai, the evidence indicates that the officer was never any closer than a couple hundred metres behind the vehicle. Whether the subject officer actually came to a complete stop once directed to terminate the pursuit is unclear; however, the evidence indicates the officer slowed at the very least, turned off his emergency lights and gave up the chase. Finally, it should be noted that the subject officer communicated what was happening in the course of his short-lived engagement with the Hyundai, placing the senior officer in a position to better monitor the unfolding events and exercise his decision-making authority.”
Director Loparco continued, “In all the circumstances, I am satisfied that the subject officer at all times exercised a level of care that fell well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law; the officer neither created any undue risk to the public in the conduct of his own driving, nor did he contribute to the man’s reckless driving, which persisted after the pursuit ended and resulted in the fatal turn of events down the road.”
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342