News Release

No Criminal Wrongdoing in Case where Man Drives Wrong Way on Highway 407

Case Number: 16-PVI-005

Mississauga, ON (30 September, 2016) ---
The Director of the Special Investigations Unit, Tony Loparco, has determined there are no reasonable grounds to lay criminal charges against an Ontario Provincial Police officer in relation to the injuries sustained by a 37-year-old woman in January of 2016 in Brampton.  

Five investigators and two forensic investigators were assigned to this incident.

The SIU interviewed four civilian witnesses and reviewed the notes of three witness officers. The subject officer participated in an SIU interview and provided a copy of his duty notes.
The Unit’s investigation also included the review of mechanical reports of both vehicles involved in the collision.

The SIU investigation found the following:
  • In the evening hours of January 8, 2016, the subject officer was parked on the right shoulder of eastbound Highway 407 to conduct speed enforcement. He was operating a fully marked Ontario Provincial Police cruiser and was using stationery radar to monitor eastbound traffic. 
  • At approximately 7:30 p.m., the subject officer observed a motor vehicle approaching the rear of his vehicle at a high rate of speed. He activated his speed measuring equipment, and recorded a speed of 152 km/h in a 100 km/h zone. The officer decided to initiate a traffic stop, and slowly pulled into the curb lane. The officer was driving at a speed of 70-80 km/h at the time. His intention was to let the vehicle pass him and then drive up behind the vehicle to stop it. 
  • The subject officer looked in his rear view mirror and saw that the vehicle had slowed down significantly. The male driver then made a U-turn and drove at a high rate of speed on the wrong side of Highway 407. The driver exited the highway by using the Highway 410 on-ramp. The officer immediately radioed the pertinent information to the communications centre, activated his emergency equipment and made a three-point turn to pursue the vehicle. 
  • When the officer approached the on-ramp approximately 30 seconds later, he came upon a substantial collision. The man’s vehicle had collided head-on with another motor vehicle. 
  • Following the collision, two men fled from the vehicle which had been traveling the wrong way. They jumped over the concrete barrier, and ran along an embankment. The officer began to chase them and saw that one of the men was carrying an infant in his arms. As the officer pursued the suspect on foot, the man carrying the infant doubled-back to the collision scene, got into the subject officer’s police cruiser and locked the doors. As the officer attempted to open the doors, the man sped off while dragging the officer for a short period of time.
  • The officer noticed a seven-year-old child was wandering at the top of the embankment near the collision. He immediately tended to her and then returned to the collision scene. He found that the 37-year-old female passenger of the other vehicle had been seriously injured as a result of the collision. Paramedics arrived on scene and took the woman to hospital for treatment.
Director Loparco said, “The subject officer did absolutely nothing that could even remotely be considered to be a causal contribution to the woman’s injuries. He was acting lawfully when he attempted to initiate a routine traffic stop, and the extraordinary events that followed were completely unforeseeable. Moreover, given the officer’s observations, as well as the time that elapsed between the collision and the officer’s arrival, it is clear that the man had already caused the collision before the officer had completed his three-point turn to initiate a pursuit. The officer did nothing to exacerbate the man’s egregiously dangerous driving.”  

Director Loparco continued, “The subject officer was engaged in the lawful pursuit of two men and the urgency of the circumstances warranted his involvement. Not only did he encounter a dangerous and dynamic situation involving a foot pursuit with two individuals, one who was clutching an infant, he had his police vehicle stolen. As soon as the suspect fled the scene, and notwithstanding the fact that he had been dragged along the ground, the officer attended to both the abandoned child on the side of the road and to the injured woman in the vehicle. His response to the woman’s serious injuries was as prompt and prudent as one could expect given the circumstances. There are no reasonable grounds to believe that the subject officer committed a criminal offence, and consequently no charges will issue.”

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. 

Lisez ce communiqué en français.

Monica Hudon,
SIU Communications/Service des communications, UES
Telephone/No de téléphone: 416-622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529 extension 2342