SIU Concludes Collision Investigation in Ottawa
Case Number: 11-OVI-187
Mississauga (13 October, 2011) --- The Director of the Special Investigations Unit (SIU), Ian Scott, has concluded that there are no reasonable grounds to charge an Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officer with a criminal offence in regards to the injuries sustained by 31-year-old Chantelle Ladouceur of Ottawa in September of this year.
The SIU assigned three investigators, two forensic investigators, and one collision reconstructionist to investigate the circumstances surrounding this collision. The scene of the collision was forensically processed. Pertinent documentation was obtained from the OPS. One officer was designated as a subject officer. He declined, as is his right, to be interviewed by the SIU. Three officers were designated as witness officers and interviewed. Five civilian witnesses were identified and interviewed.
The SIU investigation determined that on the evening of September 18, 2011, Ms. Ladouceur was a passenger in a motor vehicle driven by her common-law husband. They were travelling westbound on Hunt Club Road. He attracted the attention of an OPS officer when he accelerated through an intersection against an amber light. The officer pursued the vehicle with his police vehicle’s emergency equipment activated. Instead of stopping, the driver accelerated up to 100 km/hr in a 60 km/hr zone. At the intersection of Hunt Club Road and Airport Parkway he drove around a van stopped at the red light, lost control of his vehicle and careened into the eastbound lane. He collided with a car travelling in that lane. As a result of the collision, Ms. Ladouceur sustained serious injuries.
Director Scott said, "While the subject officer declined to provide a statement to the SIU, in my view, it is a reasonable inference to draw that he engaged in a suspect apprehension pursuit for the purpose of identifying the motor vehicle or its driver after the driver committed a traffic infraction and refused to stop. Accordingly, the officer had the lawful authority to engage in this pursuit pursuant to s. 3(1)(b) of O.Reg 266/10 to the Police Services Act. In an attempt to elude the police, the driver drove his vehicle in a reckless manner, causing him to lose control, and leading to this serious motor vehicle collision."
Director Scott concluded, "In my view, it was the actions of the driver, and not those of the subject officer, that caused these serious injuries to Ms. Ladouceur. There is no suggestion that the subject officer drove in a dangerous or criminally negligent manner, and no suggestion that he had physical contact with the other motor vehicle. Accordingly, I cannot form reasonable grounds that the subject officer committed a criminal offence in relation to those injuries."
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.
Frank Phillips, firstname.lastname@example.org
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342