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News Release

SIU Updates Collision Investigation

Case Number: 09-PVI-030

TORONTO (13 February, 2009) --- The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) is continuing its investigation into the serious injuries suffered by several individuals in a single-vehicle collision near Chatham on February 10, 2009.

At approximately 8:00 p.m. on February 10, 2009 an OPP officer from the Elgin Detachment was following a white Pontiac Sunfire with four occupants that had been reported to be driving erratically westbound on Highway 401 near Dutton. The Sunfire exited the highway onto Orford Road, followed by the OPP cruiser. The Sunfire then crossed a ditch at the T-intersection at Selton Line and came to rest at the north side of the ditch.

Twenty-two-year-old Richard Coughlan, 21-year-old Rennie Lush and 20-year-old Sarah Thompson remain in hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A fourth occupant of the Sunfire, a female youth, also remains in hospital with undetermined non-life-threatening injuries.

The SIU has designated one OPP officer as a subject officer, and four Chatham-Kent Police Service officers as witness officers.

SIU investigators are continuing to appeal for anyone who may have seen the white Sunfire being driven erratically westbound on Highway 401 between Dutton and Orford Road at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10, 2009, to contact the Unit. Specifically, investigators wish to speak to any transport truck operators who were westbound at interchange 117 (Orford Road) when the white Sunfire left the highway. Witnesses should call 416-622-2038 or 1-800-787-8529, extension 2038.

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