SIU Concludes Investigation into Collision in Hamilton



    TORONTO, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has
determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that any officers
of the Hamilton Police Service committed any criminal offence in respect of a
motor vehicle collision that resulted in serious injuries for a local woman.
    SIU Director James Cornish has concluded: "On the totality of the
evidence, I do not believe that the actions of the officers caused or
contributed to the collision that resulted in serious injuries to a blameless
civilian, who had the great misfortune of being a passenger in a car that was
struck by another vehicle."
    On Saturday July 5, 2008 at approximately 12:30 p.m., two Hamilton Police
Service officers were in their cruiser at a parking lot at the corner of
Holton Avenue South and King Street East when they heard the sound of
screeching tires. The officers were investigating the cause of that noise when
they approached and then followed a Nissan Pathfinder.
    After spotting the Pathfinder turning left onto Proctor Blvd. from King
Street, the officers activated the cruiser's emergency roof lights, in order
to proceed safely against the designated flow of traffic on a one-way street,
and drove towards the vehicle to investigate. The Pathfinder, however, made a
U-Turn and headed back towards King Street. East. The officers lost sight of
the SUV, but pedestrians assisted them by gesturing that the vehicle had made
a right turn onto Gibson Avenue.
    The officers turned onto Gibson Avenue where they noticed the SUV roll
over onto its roof through the intersection of Gibson Avenue and Wilson
Street. With their view restricted by parked cars, the officers had not seen
the SUV fail to stop at a stop sign and collide with a Toyota Corolla with
three occupants.
    "The officers never got very close to the vehicle involved in this
incident," noted Mr. Cornish. "Indeed, all the civilian witnesses interviewed
by the SIU agree with the officers on this point. None of the witnesses say
that the officers were traveling quickly, and all of them tell of a
significant gap between the cruiser and the Pathfinder right up to the time
that the Pathfinder struck the car on Wilson Street."
    A Charlton Street resident, 53-year-old Ventura Polio, a passenger in the
back seat of the Corolla, remains in Hamilton General Hospital recovering from
serious injuries including a broken pelvis.
    Five SIU investigators - three field investigators and two forensic
investigators - as well as the SIU's Collision Reconstructionist were assigned
to this case. The two officers - one subject officer and one witness officer -
were interviewed as were six civilian witnesses, who came forward with
information during a canvas of the area by the investigators. Communication
tapes and vehicle examination/collision reports from the Hamilton Police
Service were also reviewed.

    The SIU is a civilian agency that investigates cases of serious injuries
(including allegations of sexual assault) and deaths involving the police.
Pursuant to section 113 of the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU is
mandated to consider whether a criminal offence has been committed by an
officer(s) in connection with the incident under investigation and, where
warranted by the evidence, to cause a criminal charge or charges to be laid
against the officer(s). The Director reports the results of investigations to
the Attorney General.





For further information:

For further information: John Yoannou, SIU Communications/Service des
communications, UES Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou
1-800-787-8529; For general information about the SIU, please visit our
website at www.siu.on.ca

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