SIU Director’s Report - Case # 20-OVI-204
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Mandate of the SIU
Under the Police Services Act, the Director of the SIU must determine based on the evidence gathered in an investigation whether an officer has committed a criminal offence in connection with the incident under investigation. If, after an investigation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that an offence was committed, the Director has the authority to lay a criminal charge against the officer. Alternatively, in all cases where no reasonable grounds exist, the Director does not lay criminal charges but files a report with the Attorney General communicating the results of an investigation.
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (“FIPPA”)Pursuant to section 14 of FIPPA (i.e., law enforcement), certain information may not be included in this report. This information may include, but is not limited to, the following:
- Confidential investigative techniques and procedures used by law enforcement agencies; and
- Information whose release could reasonably be expected to interfere with a law enforcement matter or an investigation undertaken with a view to a law enforcement proceeding.
- Subject Officer name(s);
- Witness Officer name(s);
- Civilian Witness name(s);
- Location information;
- Witness statements and evidence gathered in the course of the investigation provided to the SIU in confidence; and
- Other identifiers which are likely to reveal personal information about individuals involved in the investigation.
Pursuant to PHIPA, any information related to the personal health of identifiable individuals is not included.
Personal Health Information Protection Act, 2004 (“PHIPA”)
Other proceedings, processes, and investigationsInformation may have also been excluded from this report because its release could undermine the integrity of other proceedings involving the same incident, such as criminal proceedings, coroner’s inquests, other public proceedings and/or other law enforcement investigations.
“Serious injuries” shall include those that are likely to interfere with the health or comfort of the victim and are more than merely transient or trifling in nature and will include serious injury resulting from sexual assault. “Serious Injury” shall initially be presumed when the victim is admitted to hospital, suffers a fracture to a limb, rib or vertebrae or to the skull, suffers burns to a major portion of the body or loses any portion of the body or suffers loss of vision or hearing, or alleges sexual assault. Where a prolonged delay is likely before the seriousness of the injury can be assessed, the Unit should be notified so that it can monitor the situation and decide on the extent of its involvement.
This report relates to the SIU’s investigation into serious injuries sustained by a 64-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn August 19, 2020, at about 2:21 a.m., the Windsor Police Service (WPS) notified the SIU of injuries to the Complainant and the Subject Officer (SO). Reportedly, on August 19, 2020 at about 12:15 a.m., the SO was riding a WPS bicycle and the Complainant was operating a motorcycle. The SO struck the motorcycle. The SO and the Complainant were taken to the Windsor Regional Hospital Ouellette Campus with serious injuries. The scene was held.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 4
Number of SIU Forensic Investigators assigned: 1
Complainant:64-year-old male, not interviewed
The Complainant, as was his right, declined to speak with the SIU until consulting with counsel. Attempts to follow-up with Complainant were unsuccessful.
Civilian WitnessesCW #1 Interviewed
CW #2 Interviewed
CW #3 Interviewed
Witness OfficersWO #1 Interviewed
WO #2 Interviewed
Subject OfficersSO Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right
Excerpts from SIU Reconstruction Report
Collision Scene Information
1.1 Road Layout
North of the collision scene McDougall Street is a five-lane paved concrete road which permits two lanes of northbound and three lanes of southbound vehicular traffic. The two northbound lanes are delineated with intermittent white paint lines. The three southbound lanes are delineated with a solid white paint line. The left southbound lane is designated for left turns with a white painted left turn arrow, the right southbound lane is designated for right turns with a white painted right turn arrow and the centre southbound lane is designated for through traffic with a white painted straight arrow. South of the scene McDougall Street is a two-lane paved concrete road permitting one lane of northbound and one lane of southbound vehicular movement. At the northbound approach there is an additional left turn lane. Opposing lanes are delineated with a solid yellow paint lane. The lanes measured 3.3 metres to 4.3 metres wide with the southbound left turn lane measuring 3.5 metres wide. Wyandotte Street East is a two-lane paved asphalt road which permits one lane of eastbound and one lane of westbound vehicular movement. The lanes are delineated with a solid yellow paint line near the centre of the road. The lanes are 7.3 metres wide. There are two lanes delineated with intermittent white paint marks at the westbound approach to the intersection. These lanes are 3.6 metres wide. Both roads are bordered by concrete curbs and sidewalks. Commercial businesses are located on both sides of both roads in a downtown setting. The speed limit is not posted but presumed to be 50 km/h in accordance with sections 128 (1) (b) of the Highway Traffic Act. There are streetlights on all corners of the intersection except the northwest corner. The intersection possessed functioning traffic signals, pedestrian walk signals, pedestrian crosswalks and stop bars. The face of a two-story building (309 Wyandotte Street East) on the southeast corner of the intersection is set back 2.1 metres east of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 2.6 metres south of the south edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. It creates a significant view obstruction between northbound McDougall Street traffic and westbound Wyandotte Street East traffic.
1.2 Weather Data
On August 19, 2020, at 12:01 a.m., historical weather data from Environment Canada reports that in Windsor, Ontario, the temperature was 15.1 degrees Celsius and the dew point was 13.0 degrees Celsius. Winds were out of the southeast at 5 km/h. Visibility was 16.1 kilometres. No precipitation was reported for either August 18 or August 19, 2020. Wunderground.com reports essentially the same data but adds that it was mostly cloudy.
1.3 Scene Evidence
The reconstructionist attended this scene at 7:35 a.m. on August 19, 2020. It was warm, the atmosphere was clear and the roads were dry. A black-coloured unnamed Mountain-style bicycle bearing the markings of the WPS (WPS Bicycle #1) was lying on its right side facing northwest on the east side of the northbound passing lane of McDougall Street just north of Wyandotte Street East. There was minor fresh damage to the right side of this vehicle. The approximate centre of mass was located 4.6 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 5.0 metres north of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. A second black-coloured unnamed Mountain-style bicycle bearing the markings of the WPS (WPS Bicycle #2) was lying on its right side facing west in the centre of the westbound curb lane of Wyandotte Street East at the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street. There was no fresh damage to this vehicle. The approximate centre of mass was located 0.7 metres east of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 0.7 metres south of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. A third black-coloured unnamed Mountain-style bicycle bearing the markings of the WPS (WPS Bicycle #3) was lying on its left side facing north in the parking lot of 310 Wyandotte Street East. There was no fresh damage to this vehicle. The approximate centre of mass was located 1.9 metres east of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 8.3 metres north of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. A black-coloured Harley Davidson motorcycle was lying on its right side facing northeast in the centre of the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street north of Wyandotte Street East. There was moderate fresh damage to both sides of this vehicle, in particular the right side. The approximate centre of mass was located 1.9 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 21.0 metres north of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. Scrape marks 16.9 metres long followed a northerly path to the rear of the motorcycle in the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street starting 3.1 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 2.9 metres north of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. A thin tire mark on the north side of the westbound lane of Wyandotte Street East which widened at its halfway point started at a point 2.7 metres east of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 1.0 metre south of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. It followed a curved westbound path for 5.7 metres towards WPS Bicycle #1 ending 3.1 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 0.5 metres south of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. A similar tire mark 2.0 metres long was located immediately to the north following the same path and also ended 3.1 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street. A blood pool was located 0.7 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 14.6 metres north of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. Medical debris was located 5.0 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street and 8.8 metres north of the north edge of the pavement of Wyandotte Street East. A black bicycle helmet was located on the northeast sidewalk.
2.1 WPS Bicycle #1 – Black-coloured Mountain-style bicycle bearing the word “Trail” and markings of the WPS – 10 gear– Front and rear disc brakes
This vehicle was examined at the scene. The battery ceased to function during the examination. The white front light was on upon arrival at the scene. The rear red light was not on. Blue and red flashing lights directed 360 degrees were not on at the time of arrival. An equipped siren was not on at the time of arrival. The pedals were equipped with reflectors. The metal frame of the right side of rear baggage carrier was freshly scraped 70 to 90 cm above the ground. The tip of the right handlebar grip was freshly scraped. There were several scrapes which were not fresh at various locations of the bicycle. The front forks were twisted 90 degrees counter-clockwise while the handlebars remained forward facing. The seat was set to 0.97 metres above the ground. The front fork shocks were “Rox Shox” in make and were not locked out permitting a smoother ride than if they were locked out. Both tires were WTB in make and Ranger in model. They were 29X2.25 in size with a recommended pressure of 35 to 55 psi. This could not be checked as the correct bicycle tire pressure gauge was not available. Both tires were smooth in the centre with marginal tread on the shoulders. There were fresh contact patches on the right sides of both tires. The chain was attached to the smallest of the ten rear sprockets. The sprocket assembly had a diameter of 15 cm. The single front sprocket possessed 30 teeth and measured 12 cm in diameter. Hand sanitizer was located inside the baggage carrier. Both brakes functioned with the application of the right brake lever.
2.4 1997 black-coloured Harley Davidson FLS TF Fat Boy
This vehicle was examined at the scene. The right front fender was dented, the left turn signal was detached, the right turn signal was freshly scraped and the lens was off.
The right side of the right saddle bag was scraped. The right front fork was dented. The front brake lever and cylinder were scraped on the right side. The right side of the right rear foot peg was scraped. The gas tank was dented on the rear left side. The licence plate was bent. The tires were Dunlop HD in make. The front tire was MT90 B16 in size and inflated to 43 psi with 4 mm of tread. The rear tire was MT 90B16 in size and inflated to 25 psi with 4 mm of tread. The rear shocks were inflated to 75 psi. The speedometer indicated zero. The keys were not in the ignition and the motorcycle could not be started. The transmission allowed one notch down and this indicates that it was in second gear.
3.2 Speed Determination
The average of the two bicycle tire marks from WPS Bicycle #1 was 3.85 metres. Using a co-efficient range of 0.7 to 0.9, the calculated speed required to make that mark is 26.5 km/h to 29 km/h.
The length of the scrape marks leading to the Harley Davidson motorcycle was 16.9 metres. Using a co-efficient range of 0.4 to 0.6, the calculated speed for a sliding motorcycle required to make that mark is 41 km/h to 50 km/h.
3.3 Vehicle Speeds on Video from Camera in the Vicinity of the Incident
Along the centre of the eastbound curb lane of Wyandotte Street East approaching McDougall Street, the distance between the light standard on the south side of the Windsor Arena (572 McDougall Street) and the traffic signal pole for northbound traffic on the northeast quadrant of the intersection is measured at 23 metres. This measurement is achieved from GoogleEarth® from the sight line of the camera. According to the video, the lights of eastbound WPS Bicycle #1 were behind the light standard pole at the south side of the arena at 12:12:43.00 a.m. and they were behind the traffic signal pole on the northeast quadrant of the intersection at 12:12.46.16 a.m., a difference of 3.16 seconds. The calculated average pre-collision speed of WPS Bicycle #1 is therefore 7.3 metres per second or 26.2 km/h. Of note, this speed is consistent with the high cruising gear (smallest rear sprocket) that this bicycle was in. Along the curb northbound lane of McDougall Street, the Harley Davidson crossed the northbound stop bar for Wyandotte Street East at 12:12.48 a.m. and crossed the pedestrian crosswalk on the north side of the intersection at 12:12.49.43 a.m. It therefore took 1.43 seconds for the Harley Davidson to cross the intersection. From the vantage of the camera, the calculated total station map distance between the above points is 22.7 metres. The calculated average pre-collision speed of the Harley Davidson is therefore 15.87 metres per second or 57.1 km/h. These speeds are consistent with the slide to stop speeds calculated in the speed determination segment.
3.4 Video Recap
WPS Bicycle #1 is travelling westbound in the curb westbound lane of Wyandotte Street East with a white headlight activated. WPS Bicycle #1 is keeping pace with WPS Bicycle #2 immediately to its south (left side) and an ambulance with emergency lighting activated in the eastbound passing lane keeps pace with the two WPS Units. Approaching the intersection of McDougall Street, the ambulance slows to a stop. WPS Bicycle #1 slows and crosses the eastbound stop bar at 12:12.48.0 a.m. and according to the turning movement of the headlight the bicycle is turned hard to the north at 12:12.48.5 a.m. while in the curb northbound lane of McDougall Street. At 12:12.49.2 a.m. WPS Bicycle #1 comes to a complete stop and at 12:12.49.4 is in collision with the Harley Davidson motorcycle.
3.5 General Analysis
The intersection was well-lighted and traffic signals controlling it functioned properly.
The two curved tire marks leading towards WPS Bicycle #1 in the westbound curb lane of Wyandotte Street East just east of the stop bar starting within the pedestrian crosswalk belonged to that vehicle. The longest mark belonged to the rear tire of that vehicle as the wheel locked up and the shorter mark was from the front tire of that vehicle as that wheel locked up. These marks are consistent with clockwise rotation of WPS Bicycle #1 as it slowed and the rear tire tracked to the outside. The contact patches on the bicycle are consistent with all wheel lock up. Without gyroscopic forces applied to the wheels, WPS Bicycle #1 would have naturally eventually fallen to the ground. The west end of the tire marks belonging to WPS Bicycle #1 are the best indication of the area of impact and that was 8.3 metres into the intersection or west of the stop bar. The area of impact can also be described as being 3.1 metres west of the east edge of the pavement of McDougall Street, well into the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street. There was no evidence that the Harley Davidson brakes were applied prior to impact. The scrape marks in the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street leading to the Harley Davidson are from that vehicle. The 41 km/h to 50 km/h speeds of the motorcycle derived from them are minimal speeds after the motorcycle has slowed after impact with WPS Bicycle #1 and then fallen.
The location of the blood in the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street 14.6 metres north of Wyandotte Street East indicates the resting location of the Complainant and the location of the medical debris in the northbound passing lane of McDougall Street 8.3 metres north of Wyandotte Street East indicates the resting location of the SO.
The facing of the two-storey building on the southeast corner of the intersection (309 Wyandotte Street East) poses a significant obstruction for westbound traffic on Wyandotte Street East and northbound traffic on McDougall Street. When WPS Bicycle #1 travelled an average 7.3 metres per second and the Harley Davidson travelled an average 15.87 metres per second on a collision course with each other the calculated first time that each driver would have been able to see the other would have been 1.7 seconds prior to the area of impact. Perception reaction time is generally 1.5 seconds so other than the sensing of the approaching headlights, neither driver would be able to see the other at the speeds that they were travelling. WPS Bicycle #1 was 12.4 metres east of the area of impact and the Harley Davidson was 27.0 metres south of the area of impact when the drivers would have first been able to see each other.
At 12:15 a.m. August 19, 2020, the SO operated WPS Bicycle #1 westbound on Wyandotte Street East at a pre-collision average speed of 26 km/h. The atmosphere was clear and the roads were dry. The speed limit on Wyandotte Street East was 50 km/h. The front light of the bicycle was on but no emergency lighting equipment was activated. Without emergency equipment activated WPS Bicycle #2 was being operated in the same direction as WPS Bicycle #1 immediately to the south (left side) of WPS Bicycle #1. An ambulance with activated emergency lighting and siren was travelling the same direction as WPS Bicycle #1 immediately to the south (left side) of WPS Bicycle #2 at about the same speed. The SO crossed the stop bar for McDougall Street and entered the intersection on a red traffic signal. At the same time a Harley Davidson motorcycle was proceeding northbound on McDougall Street at an average pre-collision speed of 57 km/h. After travelling some 2.5 metres into the intersection the SO braked hard locking up both wheels of the bicycle; then the bicycle fell to the right towards the ground. The bicycle landed on its right side on the west side of the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street, 8.3 metres beyond the stop bar, well within the intersection. About 0.2 seconds later the front of the Harley Davidson impacted WPS Bicycle #1 and the SO. The SO and his bicycle were thrown northbound. WPS Bicycle #1 came to rest 5 metres to the north and the SO came to rest 8.3 metres to the north of Wyandotte Street East on the east side of the northbound passing lane of McDougall Street. The Harley Davidson slowed to 41 km/h to 50 km/h, then fell to its right side and slid northbound in the northbound curb lane of McDougall Street coming to rest 21.0 metres to the north and the Complainant came to rest 14.6 metres to the north of Wyandotte Street East. The SO and the Complainant received serious injury.
City of Windsor Recordings
A video recording of the intersection of Aylmer and Wyandotte Street East was reviewed to examine the manner in which the SO was operating his bicycle prior to arriving at the intersection in question. It revealed that he travelled through a green light.
Civilian Video Recording
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request, the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from WPS:
- Detailed Call Summary-Assist Ambulance;
- Detailed Call Summary-Check on Wellbeing;
- Narrative Text Hardcopy (x2); and
- Notes of the witness officers.
Materials obtained from Other SourcesThe SIU received video recordings from the City of Windsor and a civilian.
An ambulance had also been dispatched to the same call involving a possible overdose victim. From the ambulance station on Mercer Street, the ambulance travelled north and then west onto Wyandotte Street East where it was joined by the three police cyclists.
With the SO and WO #1 cycling alongside the passenger side of the ambulance, the vehicles approached a red light at the McDougall Street intersection. The ambulance came to a stop at the red light, but the SO did not.
At the same time, the Complainant was traveling north on McDougall Street toward the Wyandotte Street East. He entered the intersection on a green light and struck the SO and his bicycle. The collision occurred in the curb lane of Wyandotte Street East and the curb lane of McDougall Street.
The SO and the Complainant were each ejected from their vehicles and suffered serious injuries in the collision. The Complainant was transported to hospital and reportedly diagnosed with facial fractures and a brain bleed. The SO suffered a compound fracture requiring surgery.
Section 219 and 221, Criminal Code -- Criminal negligence causing bodily harm
(a) in doing anything, or(b) in omitting to do anything that it is his duty to do,
Section 144 (18) and 144 (20), Highway Traffic Act -- Red light exemption144 (18) Every driver approaching a traffic control signal showing a circular red indication and facing the indication shall stop his or her vehicle and shall not proceed until a green indication is shown.
144 (20) Despite subsection (18), a driver of an emergency vehicle, after stopping the vehicle, may proceed without a green indication being shown if it is safe to do so.
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offence that arises for consideration is criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to section 221 of the Criminal Code.  A simple lack of care will not suffice to ground liability for the offence; what is required is a marked and substantial departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. While the SO appears largely to blame for the collision, I am unable to reasonably conclude on the evidence that his transgressions ran afoul of the limits prescribed by the criminal law.
Pursuant to section 144(20) of the Highway Traffic Act, the driver of an emergency vehicle (including police vehicles) may proceed through a red light but only when it is safe to do so after first coming to a stop. The SO failed to do so. And his failure, in my view, directly contributed to the collision in question. The Complainant was operating his motorcycle safely in and around the speed limit. Had the SO come to a full stop and taken stock of traffic around him, the officer should have noticed the motorcyclist and, presumably, waited until traffic had cleared before continuing on his way.
On the other hand, the evidence indicates that the SO’s speed on approach to McDougall Street was moderate and that he was slowing, and probably even skidding, as he entered the intersection. Moreover, there is nothing in the record to suggest that the SO had been cycling in a reckless manner in the moments prior to the collision. In the circumstances, I am satisfied that the SO’s indiscretion may best be classified as a momentary lapse of attention and insufficient to establish a marked and substantial departure from a reasonable level of care.
In the result, as I am not satisfied on reasonable grounds that the SO committed a criminal offence in connection with the collision involving the Complainant and his motorcycle, there is no basis to proceed with criminal charges in this case. The file is closed.
Date: January 25, 2021
Electronically approved by
Special Investigations Unit
- 1) Emergency Medical Services have an operational base for ambulances on Mercer Street. [Back to text]
- 1) Emergency Medical Services have an operational base for ambulances on Mercer Street. [Back to text]
- 2) Information provided by witnesses. [Back to text]
- 3) The provisions of the Criminal Code dealing with dangerous driving are inapplicable as a bicycle does not constitute a “conveyance” within the terms of those provisions: see sections 320.11 to 320.13. [Back to text]
The signed English original report is authoritative, and any discrepancy between that report and the French and English online versions should be resolved in favour of the original English report.