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News Release

SIU Concludes Pelham Investigation

Case Number: 05-OVI-091

Mississauga (13 July, 2005) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), James Cornish, has concluded that a Niagara Regional Police Service (NRPS) officer is not criminally responsible for a collision in Pelham that seriously injured three people.

On June 19, 2005, an NRPS officer had just started pursuing a Toyota Corolla on Webber Road when the Toyota collided head-on with an oncoming Mercedes SUV. As a result of the collision, the sole occupant of the SUV and four teens in the Toyota were injured and taken to area hospitals for treatment. Three of the five people were seriously hurt, ranging from a broken leg to internal injuries.

The SIU investigation revealed that at approximately 10:30 a.m., an NRPS officer in a marked cruiser was driving eastbound on Webber Road and conducting routine radar patrols. The officer was east of Church Street when he passed the Toyota, which was traveling westbound on Webber Road at a high rate of speed. The officer noticed the driver of the Toyota was passing cars by weaving erratically in and out of lanes. The officer made a u-turn, activated the cruiser's lights and pursued the Toyota for unsafe passing.

At the intersection of Webber and Church, the Toyota crossed into the eastbound lane and struck an oncoming Mercedes SUV. The Toyota burst into flames and the 16-year-old driver of the car ran into a nearby field. When the involved officer arrived at the scene seconds later, he tended to the occupants of both cars and extinguished the fire. Additional police officers arrived to assist and a short while later, the teen driver of the Toyota was found in a nearby field.

Director Cornish concluded that the subject officer did nothing to cause this collision and is not criminally responsible for the injuries to those involved.

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