SIU Concludes Haldimand County Collision Investigation
Case Number: 11-PVI-020
Other News Releases Related to Case 11-PVI-020
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge any officers of the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Haldimand County with a criminal offence in regards to the injuries sustained by a 49-year-old Hagersville man in a motor vehicle collision in February of this year.
The SIU assigned two investigators, two forensic investigators and an accident reconstructionist to probe the circumstances surrounding the collision. Four officers were designated as witness officers and one officer was designated as a subject officer. The witness officers were interviewed as were seven civilian witnesses.
The SIU investigation determined that on February 2, 2011 the subject officer was driving a marked OPP pickup truck southbound on Hwy 6. At the same time, Mr. William Griffin was driving a GMC cargo van northbound. It was snowing and the roads were partially snow covered. At approximately 9:00 a.m., 2.5 kms south of Argyle Street in Caledonia, a serious collision occurred between the two vehicles. Mr. Griffin sustained a collapsed lung and a broken femur. The subject officer sustained a broken leg.
Director Scott concluded, "This investigation relies heavily on the subject officer’s radio transmissions and the accident reconstructionist report. On that basis, I am satisfied that Mr. Griffin lost control of his van, causing it to rotate counter clockwise into the southbound lane directly in front of the subject officer’s vehicle. The right rear fender and panel of the GMC van came into contact with the left rear fender of the OPP vehicle. There is no suggestion that either driver had been consuming alcohol. On this analysis, the subject officer was in no way responsible for the collision. Accordingly, no criminal liability may attach to his actions."
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.