TORONTO, July 10 /CNW/ - The Director of the Special Investigations Unit
(SIU) has determined that there are no reasonable grounds to believe that
Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) officers, involved in a pursuit along Highway
12 in Orillia on May 3, 2008, committed any criminal offence.
OPP officers had gone to a service station on Atherly Road just after
midnight to investigate a report of a fight between two men. The first officer
to arrive in a marked cruiser was unable to block one of the men from driving
off. The ensuing pursuit, lasting approximately 15 minutes, ended about 40
kilometres away at Mara Road south of Beaverton in Durham Region where the
wanted vehicle went out of control. The 21-year-old driver was ejected from
the vehicle, which rolled over several times. He was treated at Soldiers
Memorial Hospital for multiple internal injuries.
The SIU assigned four field investigators and two forensic investigators
to this case.
Based on their investigation, the Director of the SIU, James Cornish,
concluded: "I believe that this accident is attributed to this man's inability
to maintain control of his vehicle at high speeds."
In addressing the man's claim that his car was pushed from behind by the
lead cruiser causing him to lose control, the SIU investigation determined
that the evidence did not support that contention. "The physical evidence runs
contrary to that assertion," said Mr. Cornish, who also noted that the
officers involved maintained radio contact with each other and their
supervisor as the lead pursuit officer called in location speed and volume of
traffic. "Although significant speeds were attained during the pursuit, at no
point did the officers discern a danger to the public such that the pursuit
should have been terminated."
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