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News Release

SIU Concludes Investigation into Fatal Toronto Collision

Case Number: 05-TVD-046

Mississauga (23 June, 2005) --- James L. Cornish, the Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that a Toronto Police Service (TPS) officer is not criminally liable in relation to the deaths of two youths.

On April 6, 2005, TPS officers were involved in the pursuit of a car after it failed to stop for a traffic investigation. The car struck a tree near Finch Avenue east of Yonge Street. One youth who was in the car died at the scene and the other died later that day in hospital.

Five SIU investigators, three forensic identification technicians and an accident reconstructionist were deployed to investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident. As part of the investigation, investigators interviewed over 20 police and civilian witnesses. In addition, police communications tapes, notes and a TPS vehicle were examined. The collision scene was videotaped, measured and scale drawings were prepared.

The SIU investigation revealed that at approximately 3:05 a.m., two TPS officers in a marked cruiser saw a Toyota Avalon commit a traffic violation at the intersection of Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue West. The officers attempted to stop the Avalon, but instead of stopping, the driver quickly accelerated eastbound on Finch Avenue. The cruiser, with it emergency lights on, pursued the Avalon to the area of Senlac Road. When the officers realized they could not catch the car because it was traveling so fast, they slowed, discontinued the pursuit, and lost sight of the fleeing Avalon as it crossed Yonge Street.

In the area of Finch and Kenneth Avenues, the Avalon veered to the left, mounted the north curb in front of 72 Finch Avenue East and struck a tree. The 15-year-old male passenger was trapped in the wreck and died at the scene. The 16-year-old male driver was ejected from the car and died later the same day in hospital.

The SIU investigation determined that the incident lasted approximately 3 minutes and covered a distance of 2.7 kilometres. An accurate assessment of the pre-impact speed of the Avalon could not be determined. However, the sequence of events and damage was consistent with an extremely high speed, which was confirmed by the evidence of a number of civilian witnesses who saw the Avalon travel along Finch Avenue.

After a thorough review of all the evidence presented in this investigation, the Director concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that the TPS officers committed any criminal offence in this case. Director Cornish stated, "The police never were very close to the car they pursued. Indeed, they lost sight of the car very quickly, that is how much faster the car was going than the cruiser. These officers did nothing that caused or contributed to this tragic and senseless loss of two young lives."

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