News Release

SIU Concludes Vehicle Injury Investigation in Middlesex Centre

Case Number: 14-PVI-195

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SIU Investigates Vehicle Injuries in Middlesex County

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Mississauga (30 July, 2015) --- 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  London Satellite office (Middlesex) with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 38-year-old man in August of 2014.

The SIU assigned four investigators, two forensic investigators and one collision reconstructionist to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, ten witness officers and five civilian witnesses were interviewed. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview, but declined to provide a copy of her duty notes, as is her legal right.

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Monday, August 25, 2014:

  • In the early morning hours, a London Police Service officer responded to the area of Fanshawe Park Road and Wonderland Road following a call about a break and enter involving a black vehicle.
  • The driver of a black BMW fled from the officer. The officer followed the vehicle west on Fanshawe Park Road intending to investigate its occupants in relation to the break and enter. He then initiated a pursuit when the BMW accelerated away from him. The driver travelled in excess of 240 km/h west on Fanshawe Park Road. The officer terminated the pursuit as he observed the BMW turn left through a red light onto northbound Richmond Street. 
  • A number of Ontario Provincial Police officers took up the chase at various points as the man continued his flight from police moving along roads north of London. There were three pursuits involving the BMW, and by the time it was all said and done, the man had travelled about 60 kilometres. 
  • With respect to the final pursuit, the subject officer turned south onto Vanneck Road behind the BMW from Egremont Drive. Her engagement with the BMW was short-lived.  While she appears not to have heard an initial order to terminate the pursuit, she responded quickly when the direction was re-broadcast some seconds later. She brought her vehicle to a stop at the side of Vanneck Road about a kilometre south of Egremont Drive.
  • Shortly thereafter, the driver of the BMW lost control of his vehicle near the intersection of Gainsborough Road and crashed into a tree. He suffered serious injuries in the crash, including fractures to multiple ribs. 

Director Loparco said, “The offence that arises for consideration is that of dangerous driving contrary to section 249 of the Criminal Code. The offence is not made out unless the impugned conduct amounts to a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. There is no evidence, in my view, to reasonably conclude that any of the officers involved in this matter was in breach of that standard. On the contrary, whether their conduct is examined collectively or in isolation, it seems to me that the officers acquitted themselves professionally and with due regard for public safety at all times. That they were entitled to pursue the man is without doubt. The man was operating a stolen vehicle which the officers had grounds for believing was involved in one or more break and enters. While the speeds reached by the officers were at points well in excess of the posted speed limit, there is no evidence to suggest that any member of the public was ever placed in danger. This incident took place in the middle of the night during which time there would have been little to no traffic on the roadways. The officers’ speeds are also tempered in comparison to the outlandish speeds reached by the BMW, at times well in excess of 200 km/h. It is also important to note that the officers were in the lawful discharge of their duties and entitled, therefore, to exceed the speed limit pursuant to the provisions of the Highway Traffic Act.  The officers made use of their emergency equipment and communicated well over their radios, permitting the supervising sergeant to exercise her overall command responsibilities in an informed fashion. The supervising sergeant, in my view, acted reasonably and with prudence when she called an end to the pursuit having learned that the BMW had just travelled through a red light south on Vanneck Road through Egremont Drive. The risks to public safety at this point were such as to warrant cessation of all pursuit activities.  The officers responded in kind.”

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,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342