SIU Concludes Investigation into Collision Involving an OPP Cruiser and a Cyclist
Case Number: 08-PVI-109
Other News Releases Related to Case 08-PVI-109
"The evidence gathered in the course of this investigation causes me to believe that the subject officer was confronted by a situation that gave him little opportunity to react to avoid this collision," concluded then Director James Cornish. "There appears to be nothing in the evidence to support the notion that the subject officer was driving in a manner that can be characterized as dangerous in the criminal context."
On June 13, 2008 at approximately 11:30 p.m., the officer with the Orillia Detachment was en route to a disturbance call in the city of Orillia. The officer was alone, driving a marked cruiser, when his cruiser collided with a cyclist at the intersection of Front Street and Gill Street. The impact threw the cyclist onto the hood and windshield of the cruiser. 28-year-old Jerry Pelletier of Orillia suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries. He was transferred from Soldiers' Memorial Hospital in Orillia to the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto where he was treated for a broken right leg, fractured vertebrae and facial injuries.
The possible offence that was raised by the circumstances of this case is the offence of dangerous driving. An essential element of the offence is that the driving in question amount to a marked departure from the standard of care that a reasonable person would have observed in the same situation. Having regard to all the circumstances and, in particular, the sudden nature of the events which culminated in the collision, Mr. Cornish stated: "In my view, the subject officer's driving did not amount to a marked departure from the standard of care expected of a reasonable person; in other words, the officer's driving fell well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law."
The SIU assigned two field investigators, two forensic investigators and an accident reconstructionist to probe the nature and extent of police involvement. One officer was designated as a subject officer, with another officer as a witness officer. SIU interviewed two civilian witnesses and viewed security videotape, which contained images of Gill Street.
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.