SIU Director’s Report - Case # 19-PVI-155
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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 a serious injury sustained by a 64-year-old man (the “Complainant”).
Notification of the SIUOn June 29, 2019, at 1:27 p.m., the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) notified the SIU of an injury to the Complainant.
The OPP reported that on June 29, 2019, at 4:31 a.m., OPP officers were at the scene of a major collision on the 401 Highway westbound express, west of Renforth Drive. An OPP police cruiser, operated by Subject Officer (SO) #1 and SO #2, was struck by a civilian vehicle operated by the Complainant while protecting the scene with its emergency lights activated and unoccupied. The Complainant was taken to the Trillium Health Partners and at 1:20 p.m., he was diagnosed with a fractured breast bone.
The TeamNumber of SIU Investigators assigned: 3
Complainant:64-year-old male interviewed, medical records obtained and reviewed
Subject OfficersSO #1 Interviewed, and notes received and reviewed
SO #2 Declined interview and to provide notes, as is the subject officer’s legal right
The SceneThe Hwy 401, west of Renforth Drive.
Summary of the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario CCTV:
Communications RecordingsSO #2 contacted the OPP dispatcher and reported a collision. A civilian car drove into the police cruiser. Multiple communications took place between the OPP dispatcher and detachment in regards to the accident and possible involvement of the SIU.
Materials obtained from Police ServiceUpon request the SIU obtained and reviewed the following materials and documents from the OPP:
- CAD Event Details;
- Closure of Highway;
- General Report;
- Notes of SO #1;
- Transcript-SO #2;
- Transcript-SO #1;
- Will State-SO #1;
- Witness Statement-the Complainant; and
- Witness Statement-civilian witness.
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 320.13(2), Criminal Code – Dangerous operation causing bodily harm
Analysis and Director's Decision
The offences that arise for consideration on this record are that of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle causing bodily harm and criminal negligence causing bodily harm contrary to sections 320.13(2) and 221 of the Criminal Code, respectively. Both offences are predicated, in part, on conduct that amounts to a marked departure from the level of care that a reasonable person would have exercised in the circumstances. The road closure had been set up for a legitimate public safety purpose. Importantly, it appears to have been effective without endangering other motorists in the roughly two hours it had been established prior to the collision. Both SO #1 and SO #2, seeing the Complainant’s vehicle bearing down on the road block, flashed their flashlights at the driver to draw his attention to the pending danger. The Complainant ought to have seen the road block well in advance and corrected his direction of travel; for whatever reason, he did not. On this record, there is no evidence to reasonably conclude that the officers exercised a level of care in relation to the road block that transgressed the requirements of the criminal law. Accordingly, there is no basis to proceed with charges against the officers and the file is closed.
Date: August 2, 2019
Special Investigations Unit
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.