TORONTO, April 9, 2019 /CNW/ - An OPP officer, once lauded as a "highway hero" for coming to the aid of car crash victims, is now a victim himself. OPP Constable Patrick Chatelain, a former Canadian Forces Medic, is seeking justice after charges were withdrawn against the alleged driver of a car that struck and dragged him during a routine traffic stop in Mississauga.
"After dedicating most of my life to helping others, I never imagined that I'd wind up a victim," said Chatelain. "Worst of all, is the feeling that the person responsible for such a callous act could walk away scot-free."
On September 4, 2017, at about 8:40 a.m., Chatelain pulled over a rented vehicle on Hurontario Street near the 403, when it suddenly accelerated. The officer was struck and dragged approximately 100 metres as the vehicle swerved, changed lanes, then sped off. A driver who arrived on scene, captured this dash-cam video of the dramatic incident with Chatelain ending up lying on the roadway. Another driver, called 911. That call can be heard here. Chatelain, who lost consciousness, suffered serious injuries including a traumatic brain injury.
"We are seeking justice and accountability," said Michael Smitiuch, of Smitiuch Injury Law PC, who along with Peter Cho, are the lawyers representing Chatelain. "This shouldn't be asking too much for any officer who puts his or her life on the line every day. Sadly, Chatelain has no other recourse than to seek justice through the civil system."
In the Statement of Claim filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Milton, Chatelain is seeking $4 million in damages against the alleged driver, Ian Green of Brampton, Enterprise Rent-A-Car and Aviva General Insurance Company. Smitiuch alleges in the Statement of Claim that Green, or an individual that Green loaned the vehicle to, was reckless and aggressive, driving at a high rate of speed, knowing full well that Chatelain was hanging on to the front driver's side of the vehicle.
Photos of Constable Chatelain can be found here.
SOURCE Smitiuch Injury Law PC