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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Single-Vehicle Collision in Orillia

Case Number: 08-PVI-075

Mississauga (11 July, 2008) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers, involved in a pursuit along Highway 12 in Orillia on May 3, 2008, committed any criminal offence.

OPP officers had gone to a service station on Atherly Road just after midnight to investigate a report of a fight between two men. The first officer to arrive in a marked cruiser was unable to block one of the men from driving off. The ensuing pursuit, lasting approximately 15 minutes, ended about 40 kilometres away at Mara Road south of Beaverton in Durham Region where the wanted vehicle went out of control. The 21-year-old driver was ejected from the vehicle, which rolled over several times. He was treated at Soldiers Memorial Hospital for multiple internal injuries.

The SIU assigned four field investigators and two forensic investigators to this case.

Based on their investigation, the Director of the SIU, James Cornish, concluded: "I believe that this accident is attributed to this man's inability to maintain control of his vehicle at high speeds."

In addressing the man's claim that his car was pushed from behind by the lead cruiser causing him to lose control, the SIU investigation determined that the evidence did not support that contention. "The physical evidence runs contrary to that assertion," said Mr. Cornish, who also noted that the officers involved maintained radio contact with each other and their supervisor as the lead pursuit officer called in location speed and volume of traffic. "Although significant speeds were attained during the pursuit, at no point did the officers discern a danger to the public such that the pursuit should have been terminated."

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. 

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