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News Release

Acting SIU Director: OPP Officer Acted Lawfully in QEW Incident where Motorist was Struck

Case Number: 15-PVI-244

Mississauga, ON (23 August, 2016) ---
The Acting Director of the Special Investigations Unit says an Ontario Provincial Police officer was acting lawfully during an incident in which a 35-year-old man darted onto the highway and was struck by a tractor trailer.  

Six investigators and two forensic investigators were assigned to this incident.

The subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.  The complainant (injured person) and seven civilian witnesses, including the driver of the truck that struck the complainant, were interviewed as well.  The Unit’s investigation also included collision reconstruction evidence from the scene.
 
The SIU investigation found the following:
  • Around 7:00 p.m. on October 20, 2015, OPP received reports of a disabled vehicle on the north shoulder of the westbound Queen Elizabeth Way, west of Victoria Avenue at Vineland.
  • The subject officer arrived and spoke to the driver of the vehicle, who was standing beside his vehicle.
  • After telling the officer that he had a malfunctioning headlight, without warning, the 35-year-old man darted into the live lanes of traffic.  
  • He was struck by a transport truck carrying 18,000 kilograms of freight.
  • The man was rushed to Hamilton General Hospital and later diagnosed with numerous fractures to bones in his head, face, pelvis, and foot.       

Acting SIU Director Joseph Martino said, “Without any warning, the man bolted into the westbound lanes at full speed whereupon he collided with the tractor-trailer.  The driver of the tractor-trailer had seen the man lurch into the highway and steered to the left while applying his brakes in an effort to avoid hitting him.  The driver’s quick maneuver no doubt put his own life in danger, but is probably the reason why the collision was more of a glancing blow.  The man was propelled back onto the same north shoulder of the highway.  The officer activated his cruiser’s emergency lights and rushed to the man’s side.  He was helped by a nurse and a surgical resident, motorists who had pulled over, in providing first aid to the man as they waited for paramedics.

“On the record gathered in this investigation, it is evident that the subject officer was at all times in the lawful discharge of his duty and did nothing to contribute to the man’s rash decision aside from being present at the time and trying to help him out.  Accordingly, there are no grounds for proceeding with criminal charges in this case.” 

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