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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Injuries Sustained by Man near Courtland

Case Number: 15-PVI-040

Mississauga, ON (27 October, 2015) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Tony Loparco, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an Ontario Provincial Police officer with any criminal offence in relation to the injuries sustained by a 23-year-old man in March of 2015.

The SIU assigned five investigators and three forensic investigators to probe the circumstances of this incident. As part of the investigation, eight civilian witnesses and six witness officers were interviewed. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview but did not provide a copy of his duty notes, as is his legal right. 

The SIU investigation found that the following events took place on Friday, March 6, 2015:
  • In the afternoon hours, the subject officer spotted a pickup truck in a ditch along Highway 3 near Courtland. He was in the area in response to a report provided by a civilian that a man who she believed was impaired drove erratically, almost struck her vehicle and had then gone off the road. 
  • When the officer approached the pickup truck, he encountered the 23-year-old man. The man was dressed appropriately for the weather and did not appear to be high or drunk. The roads were dry and the officer could not figure out what had caused the man to go off the road. 
  • The officer returned to his police cruiser which was parked on the shoulder of the highway, leaving the man with his truck. The officer requested that another officer attend the scene and ran checks on the man, which did not turn up anything of note. While this was happening, the man approached the officer’s vehicle and leaned into the passenger’s side window. The subject officer questioned the man as to whether he had any suicidal intentions. After providing several denials, the man suddenly changed his answer. He said he did want to kill himself, and then ran around the front of the cruiser and into the path of a passing tractor trailer.
  • The subject officer radioed for an ambulance and ran to the man’s aid. He kept talking with the wounded man to comfort him and keep him awake until paramedics arrived. 

Director Loparco said, “There is no indication the subject officer bears any responsibility for this traumatic event. He was acting pursuant to his common law, Criminal Code, and Highway Traffic Act duties when he approached the stranded and possibly intoxicated motorist in a ditch of deep snow off of Highway 3. Once he began speaking with the man, he correctly detected that something was awry. From here he made the appropriate inquiries into the man’s background and mental status and requested another officer to assist. Before the officer could complete his evaluation, and without any time to react, the man darted into the path of a tractor trailer. There is no evidence the subject officer said or did anything to prompt the man’s actions. After the impact, the subject officer comforted the man until paramedics arrived. In conclusion there is little else that the subject officer could have done to prevent what occurred.”

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