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News Release

No Reasonable Grounds to Charge Peel Regional Police Officer in Relation to Collision With Civilian Vehicle

Case Number: 16-OVI-069

Mississauga (20 September, 2016) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against a Peel Regional Police officer in relation to a vehicle collision that resulted in injuries to a 70-year-old woman in March of 2016.  

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

The SIU interviewed the injured woman and six civilian witnesses. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview but did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right.
 
The Unit’s investigation also included analysis of accident reconstruction data and review of police policies.

The SIU investigation found the following:
  • On Tuesday, March 8, 2016, at approximately 1 p.m., the subject officer received an emergency radio call concerning an unconscious woman who was potentially absent vital signs. At the time, the officer was travelling southbound on Nasmith Street in Brampton. Given that the call was approximately one kilometre north of his position, he executed a U-turn and began travelling northbound on Nasmith towards Bovaird Drive. 
  • The subject officer approached the intersection with his emergency lights and siren active. When the officer entered the intersection against the red light, he was T-boned by a vehicle which was travelling westbound. As a result of the collision, the civilian sustained a fractured sternum. The subject officer suffered a concussion as well as whiplash injuries.

Director Loparco said, “I am not left in any doubt that when the subject officer entered the intersection, he did so against a red light. The critical question is whether or not the officer came to a full stop before entering the intersection. If the officer entered the intersection without coming to a full stop, then categorically he would be unable to avail himself of section 144(20) of the Highway Traffic Act. This section affords an exception to the requirement to stop at a red light for emergency vehicles, provided the driver first comes to a complete stop and then only proceeds when it is safe to do so.” 

Director Loparco continued, “The in-car crash data from the subject officer’s police vehicle confirms that he was travelling at only 2 km/h five seconds prior to the collision. This is consistent with him coming to a stop prior to entering the intersection. The compelling conclusion is that if the officer did not come to a full stop, he at least slowed down to the point of a near-stop prior to entering the intersection.

“Before entering the intersection, the officer activated his emergency equipment. While proceeding through the intersection, he was struck by the civilian’s vehicle on the passenger side. The officer first saw the vehicle approximately one to two seconds prior to impact. He had no time to maneuver his vehicle in order to avoid the collision.”

Director Loparco concluded, “In all of the circumstances, there is nothing to suggest that the officer’s conduct rose to the level of dangerous driving because his actions do not constitute a marked departure from the standard of care expected from a trained police officer. As such, there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an offence has been committed and no charges will issue.” 

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. 

Monica Hudon, monica.hudon@ontario.ca
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342