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News Release

SIU Concludes Wheat Field Car Crash Investigation: No Further Action Contemplated

Case Number: 15-PVI-147

Mississauga, ON (11 February, 2016) ---
There is no evidence of criminality on the part of an officer involved in a July car crash where a 62-year-old man suffered multiple traumatic injuries, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit has found.  

The SIU assigned three investigators and two forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. The subject officer did not participate in an SIU interview nor did he provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.  Three witness officers were interviewed; SIU investigators also interviewed three civilian witnesses. 

The investigation found the following:
  • Just before 4:30 p.m. on July 9, 2015, an Ontario Provincial Police officer was on patrol in his vehicle and was traveling west on Confederation Line in Lambton County. 
  • The officer spotted a red Sunfire traveling east at a high rate of speed and turned his vehicle around to follow it.
  • Not long after, just past the intersection of Sexton Road and Mullifarry Drive, the red Sunfire left the roadway to the east and entered a wheat field where it rolled and became airborne before coming to rest on its wheels.  
  • The 62-year-old man was ejected from the vehicle and sustained multiple traumatic injuries, including a number of fractures.  He was rushed to hospital where he underwent surgery.  

SIU Director Tony Loparco said, “The issue for consideration is whether there are grounds for proceeding with charges in connection with the collision.  In my view, no such grounds exist.  The evidence falls short of suggesting the officer exercised a level of care markedly short of the standard to be expected of a reasonable person in the circumstances – the test prescribed by the criminal law when considering the potential offences of dangerous driving and criminal negligence causing bodily harm.  

“It would appear that the police vehicle was never very close to the red Sunfire, particularly as the Sunfire neared the collision site where witnesses suggest a gap of about ten seconds and a considerable distance separated the vehicles, suggesting the officer did not fuel the reckless operation of the man’s vehicle.  

“It is clear that the Sunfire had been traveling significantly in excess of the posted speed limits on the road for a period of time preceding the collision, and it appears speed was a significant factor in the vehicle’s loss of control and the resulting collision.

“In the circumstances, I am satisfied on balance that the officer’s conduct fell 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. 

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

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