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News Release

SIU Concludes London Collision Investigation

Case Number: 05-OVI-192

TORONTO (25 January, 2006) --- James Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has determined that a London Police Service (LPS) officer is not criminally liable in relation to the collision that killed Robert St. Denis.

On December 23, 2005, an LPS officer pursued a Pontiac Buick for a motor vehicle infraction. The pursuit was discontinued shortly before the Buick collided with a Honda Civic, driven by Mr. St. Denis. Mr. St. Denis was critically injured and succumbed to his injuries on January 5, 2006. Michael Archer, was uninjured in the collision and faces numerous charges as a result of the collision.

The SIU investigation focused on the nature and extent of police involvement in the events leading up to the collision. It determined that at about 2:15 a.m., an LPS officer was driving a marked cruiser while on routine patrol on Third Street. When he reached Oxford Street, the officer saw a white Buick traveling west on Oxford at a high rate of speed. The officer followed the Buick onto Second Street to Cheapside Street and onto Highbury Avenue. As he approached Huron Street, the officer activated the cruiser's emergency lighting and notified the police communications centre that he was attempting to stop the car.

The officer continued to follow the Buick to Clarke Road, which is where he terminated the pursuit based on the Buick's erratic driving. About 30 seconds after the officer told the communications centre he had terminated the pursuit, he came upon the collision near Clarke Road and Dundas Street involving the Buick and Mr. St. Denis' s Honda Civic.

Director Cornish stated, "The involved officer did nothing that could reasonably be viewed as causing or contributing to this tragic and senseless collision. The collision occurred while the officer was still following the vehicle containing Mr. Archer but at a distance that was increasing. Unfortunately, Mr. St. Denis was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

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. 

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