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News Release

SIU Investigates Police Pursuit in Barrie Resulting in the Death of a Pedestrian

Case Number: 08-OVD-096

TORONTO (29 May, 2008) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is investigating the circumstances surrounding an incident in Barrie during which a pedestrian was struck and killed by a suspect vehicle.

On May 28, 2008, at approximately 8 p.m., an officer with the Barrie Police Service attempted to stop a 2007 Nissan Sentra on Essa Road near Anne Street. It is not known at this time what attracted the officer's attention to the vehicle and its two occupants. The driver refused to pull over. The officer, in a marked cruiser, activated the roof lights. At the intersection of Huronia Road and Yonge Street, the suspect vehicle struck and killed 43-year-old Michael O'Keefe of Barrie. Police found the vehicle south at Yonge Street and D'Ambrosio Drive where it had struck a pole. Officers arrested the 36-year-old male driver a short distance away after a brief foot chase. A woman, who had been an occupant of the vehicle, was spoken to at that location but released by police. A post-mortem examination will be conducted at the Centre of Forensic Sciences in Toronto this afternoon.

The SIU has assigned five investigators, two forensic investigators and an accident reconstructionist to conduct the investigation. One officer has been designated as a subject officer, five others as witness officers.

The SIU is appealing for anyone who may have witnessed any portion of this incident to contact the Unit at 1-800-787-8529.

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. 

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