TORONTO, Oct. 24 /CNW/ - The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has
determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that an Ontario
Provincial Police officer committed a criminal offence in connection with a
collision between his cruiser and a cyclist in Orillia.
"The evidence gathered in the course of this investigation causes me to
believe that the subject officer was confronted by a situation that gave him
little opportunity to react to avoid this collision," concluded then Director
James Cornish. "There appears to be nothing in the evidence to support the
notion that the subject officer was driving in a manner that can be
characterized as dangerous in the criminal context."
On June 13, 2008 at approximately 11:30 p.m., the officer with the
Orillia Detachment was en route to a disturbance call in the city of Orillia.
The officer was alone, driving a marked cruiser, when his cruiser collided
with a cyclist at the intersection of Front Street and Gill Street. The impact
threw the cyclist onto the hood and windshield of the cruiser. 28-year-old
Jerry Pelletier of Orillia suffered serious but non-life threatening injuries.
He was transferred from Soldiers' Memorial Hospital in Orillia to the
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto where he was treated for a broken
right leg, fractured vertebrae and facial injuries.
The possible offence that was raised by the circumstances of this case is
the offence of dangerous driving. An essential element of the offence is that
the driving in question amount to a marked departure from the standard of care
that a reasonable person would have observed in the same situation. Having
regard to all the circumstances and, in particular, the sudden nature of the
events which culminated in the collision, Mr. Cornish stated: "In my view, the
subject officer's driving did not amount to a marked departure from the
standard of care expected of a reasonable person; in other words, the
officer's driving fell well within the limits prescribed by the criminal law."
The SIU assigned two field investigators, two forensic investigators and
an accident reconstructionist to probe the nature and extent of police
involvement. One officer was designated as a subject officer, with another
officer as a witness officer. SIU interviewed two civilian witnesses and
viewed security videotape, which contained images of Gill Street.
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