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News Release

SIU Concludes Vehicle Injury Investigation in Brampton Pursuit

Case Number: 15-OVI-074

Mississauga (16 December, 2015) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit is satisfied there are no reasonable grounds to believe the subject officer committed a criminal offence during an incident where a driver fled the scene of a RIDE stop in Brampton and crashed shortly thereafter. 

The SIU assigned five investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.  The investigation also included evidence from civilian and police witnesses, CCTV footage, a 911 call recording, and scene reconstruction.

The SIU investigation found the following: 
  • Just before 12:20 in the morning on April 19, 2015, a Peel Regional Police officer was conducting impaired driving checks at a RIDE checkpoint, in the westbound lanes of traffic on Clark Boulevard near Heart Lake Road.
  • The officer stopped two men in a minivan.
  • After initially indicating he would comply with the officer’s intention to administer a roadside screening device, the driver sped off west along Clark.
  • Unable to read the licence plate or identify the driver, the officer returned to his cruiser and attempted to follow the vehicle.
  • Turning south down Rutherford Road, the minivan reached speeds of up to 159 km/h (in a 60 km/h zone).   
  • Around Orenda Road, the minivan sped out of view of the officer.
  • Seconds later, just south of Clarence Street, the driver lost control of the minivan, which spun and flipped before demolishing a hydro pole and transformer and coming to rest against a parked car.
  • The driver was later diagnosed with a cheek fracture, and the passenger suffered a dislocated thumb that required surgery.

Director Loparco said, “The offences I considered are criminal negligence and dangerous driving. Both require an evaluation of whether the officer’s conduct amounted to at least a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in the circumstances. 

“The officer neither caused the complainants’ injuries nor posed an unacceptable risk to public safety, and the unavoidable inference from all of the evidence – including the civilian witnesses and the CCTV footage – is that the officer did not force the man to flee the RIDE stop or prevent him from operating the minivan safely. 

“In fact, by the time the officer got into the cruiser, the fleeing vehicle was a significant distance away. That gap grew to 300 metres as the minivan’s speed increased.  Although the Highway Traffic Act authorizes the officer to exceed the speed limit to catch up to the vehicle, it should be noted that the officer ended this endeavour after no more than one kilometre.

“In the final analysis, the officer’s conduct falls well short of the marked departure standard required for criminal liability.”

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. 

Jason Gennaro, jason.gennaro@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-641-1897 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 1897