SIU Concludes Investigation into Ottawa Collision



    TORONTO, Jan. 15 /CNW/ - James Cornish, the Director of the Special
Investigations Unit (SIU), has concluded that the evidence does not furnish
reasonable grounds to believe that an Ottawa Police Service (OPS) officer
committed a criminal offence when he was involved in a collision with another
car on June 30, 2007.
    The SIU assigned two field investigators and one forensic identification
technician to investigate the circumstances surrounding this collision.
    The SIU investigation determined that at 1:20 a.m., June 30, 2007, an OPS
officer was responding to a stolen vehicle call. He was driving an unmarked
police cruiser northbound on Fisher Avenue through a natural depression in the
road, south of Emperor Avenue. The officer was exceeding the speed limit
whilst responding to a priority call for assistance, but traffic was light and
the road was dry. At this same time the driver of a Toyota was stopped on
Emperor Avenue at the stop sign at Fisher Avenue. The officer glanced at his
in car computer terminal momentarily and when he looked up the Toyota was in
front of him. He attempted to avoid a collision, but struck the Toyota just
north of Emperor Avenue. There were two adults and a 3-month old baby in the
Toyota. The parents suffered minor injuries. The baby was taken to hospital
where it was determined he had suffered a skull fracture. Fortunately the baby
did not sustain any brain damage and was released from hospital on July 2nd.
    The SIU investigators determined that the Toyota turning onto northbound
Fisher Avenue and the glancing away of the officer occurred more or less
simultaneously during the time the police cruiser was in the depression in the
road. This contributed to the inability of the officer to see the Toyota and
the Toyota driver's inability to see the approaching police cruiser.
    Director Cornish said, "The officer was driving a police vehicle with its
emergency lights activated. He had a reasonable basis to expect other that the
other users of the roadway would yield the right of way to him. In my view the
officer's speed on this road, in the circumstances, does not amount to a
marked departure from the standard of care of a reasonable person."

    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: SIU Communications/Service des communications,
UES, Telephone/No de telephone: (416) 622-2342 or/ou 1-800-787-8529

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